Dr. Dana of Love Health Direct Primary Care: High Blood Pressure & How to Lower it – NATURALLY

Picture this: one in every three adults in the United States is battling high blood pressure. That’s over 74 million people, a staggering number that demands attention. What’s worse, the rate of deaths linked to high blood pressure rose by a concerning 25 percent between 1995 and 2005. Clearly, this is a health issue we can’t afford to ignore.

You might think high blood pressure only affects older folks, but it doesn’t discriminate by age. It’s as likely to affect men as it is women, with over 32 percent of both genders grappling with it. However, here’s a shocking truth: more women lose their lives to high blood pressure-related complications than men. Why? Because this silent enemy often lurks unnoticed until it wreaks havoc on our health.

Here’s the kicker: only about 45 percent of Americans with high blood pressure have it under control. That’s less than half! Why the struggle? Well, part of the problem lies in the fact that high blood pressure doesn’t always come knocking with obvious symptoms. It silently chips away at our health until it’s too late. 

But there’s hope. By understanding the warning signs—think headaches, sweating, a racing heart, shortness of breath, or vision problems—and getting savvy about our blood pressure categories, we can start fighting back. 

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. There are two measurements: systolic, which is the higher measurement when your heart is pumping the blood to the rest of the body, and diastolic, which is the lower measurement when the heart is relaxing. We aim to lower the blood pressure to less than 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic, so 140/90. If you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, it’s less than 130/90. Many studies have shown that the risk of death from heart attack and stroke can begin at pressures above 120/80 and doubles for every additional 20/10 increase.

Prehypertension? That’s when your blood pressure is creeping up, but it’s not quite high yet. Numbers: 120-129 (systolic) over LESS THAN 80 (diastolic)

Stage 1 hypertension? Your blood pressure is on the rise, and it’s time to take action. Numbers: 130-139 (systolic) over 80-89 (diastolic)

Stage 2 hypertension? It’s serious business and requires definite attention from a medical doctor or practitioner. Numbers: 140 or higher (systolic) over 90 or higher (diastolic) – higher than 140/90

Hypertensive Crisis? Go to the emergency room if your systolic blood pressure is greater than 180 or if your diastolic pressure is greater than 110.


So, what can we do? Sure, there are medications, but there’s also a whole world of natural remedies at our fingertips.Here’s a partial list to get you started:


– Rather than solely focusing on weight loss, the emphasis is on achieving a healthy balance between muscle mass, bone density, and adipose tissue (fat) through lifestyle changes.

– Excess fat tissue disrupts this balance and can contribute to hypertension and other health issues.

– Building muscle mass and strengthening bones through regular exercise can improve overall health and reduce the risk of falls and fractures, particularly as we age.

– Decreasing both subcutaneous (under the skin) and visceral (around the organs) fat can help lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.

– Some individuals may not see a significant decrease in weight but can still experience improvements in health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.

– Tracking progress using comprehensive measurements beyond just weight, such as visceral (around organs) fat, subcutaneous (under skin) fat, muscle mass, and bone health, can provide a more accurate reflection of health improvements. The Renpho scale is an affordable option I like for monitoring health metrics can aid in tracking progress and adjusting goals accordingly.

– Understand how your brain works: Education on how habits form and coaching through behavior change can be crucial for long-term success. Resources like the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear provide valuable insights into habit formation and strategies for sustainable lifestyle changes.

– Having support from a primary care physician or health coach, particularly during the initial stages of the journey, can provide guidance and accountability. 

2. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR):

– MBSR is a structured program that incorporates mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help individuals cope with stress. It typically involves weekly group sessions and daily practice at home.

– Several studies have shown that MBSR can lower blood pressure by reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. For example, a meta-analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014 found that mindfulness meditation programs, including MBSR, were associated with significant reductions in blood pressure.

– One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2008 found that individuals with prehypertension who participated in an MBSR program experienced significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to a control group.

3. Acupuncture:

– Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy, or qi.

– While the mechanisms underlying acupuncture’s effects on blood pressure are not fully understood, some studies suggest that it may help by reducing sympathetic nervous system activity and improving circulation.

– A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Hypertension in 2015 found that acupuncture significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension compared to sham acupuncture or control groups.

– Another study published in Circulation in 2007 found that acupuncture combined with antihypertensive medication was more effective in lowering blood pressure than medication alone.

4. Yoga:

– Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote overall health and well-being.

– Several studies have shown that regular practice of yoga can lower blood pressure by reducing stress, improving circulation, and increasing heart rate variability.

– A meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2014 found that yoga interventions were associated with significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

– A randomized controlled trial published in the Hypertension Research in 2014 found that a 12-week yoga program led to significant reductions in blood pressure and improvements in other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with hypertension.

5. Supplements:

– Garlic: Garlic supplements have been studied for their potential effects on blood pressure. Some research suggests that garlic may help lower blood pressure by promoting vasodilation and reducing inflammation. A meta-analysis published in the journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders in 2008 found that garlic supplements were associated with modest reductions in blood pressure.

 L-arginine: L-arginine is an important amino acid show that plays an important role in heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Specifically the body uses L-arginine to make Nitric Oxide, which in turn relaxes arteries and other blood vessels. Check out this article published in Cureus in 2021 for more information.

– Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure. Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased inflammation and blood vessel dysfunction, contributing to hypertension.  In my experience, many people are deficient in Vitamin D and it’s very hard to get from diet alone. Increasing sunlight exposure is a great option, however comes with other risks of skin cancer. An article from Clinical Nutrition 2021 suggests that vitamin D supplementation can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.

The bottom line? High blood pressure is a big deal, but it’s not unbeatable. With a bit of know-how and a whole lot of determination, we can take charge of our health and keep our blood pressure in check. So let’s roll up our sleeves, make some smart choices, and show high blood pressure who’s boss!

DISCLOSURE: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED FOR MEDICAL ADVICE AND IN NO MEANS ESTABLISHES A PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP. It’s important to note that while these alternative approaches may have some clinical efficacy in lowering blood pressure, they should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any alternative medicine treatment, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication. Additionally, individual responses to these treatments may vary, so it’s essential to monitor blood pressure regularly and adjust treatment as needed.

About Dr. Dana

Dana Mincer, DO, is a board certified, family practice physician, personal trainer, and mom, with expertise in mental health, addiction medicine, positive habit coaching, and yoga based therapies. She considers herself a REFORMED western medicine physician who employs practical integrative medicine techniques. Her basic approach is that every patient is a sacred and respected individual who is more than capable of making decisions about their own medical care – she is humbled to be invited into their world for guidance.

She opened her own practice at 1035 Virginia Drive, Suite 140 in Fort Washington. To schedule a free meet and greet and sign up for the practice, you can visit Love Health’s website.

Updates and more information are also available at Love Health Direct Primary Care’s Facebook page and Instagram page.