Getting at the “Real Cause” of Blood Pressure

By Eric B. Herfert, DC

Normally Joe wouldn’t drive on such a winding road at night, especially in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. But this shortcut would avoid a lot of traffic, and it would also save him 15 minutes in driving time. He should have just decided to cancel his appointment this night, but Joe had to get to this meeting with a client, or he could kiss his possible raise and promotion goodbye!

Each turn of the road had a steep drop off on one side, and a wall of rocks, gravel and sand on the other side. There wasn’t any room for error when driving!  Joe made another sharp turn, like he had been making for the last ten minutes and then it happened! He pressed on the brake pedal… but nothing happened! His car sped into the banked turn at 20 mph over the posted speed.  The car smashed through the guardrail and careened over the embankment —plunging nearly one hundred feet into the woods below!

Joe somehow survived the crash, but his life would never be the same. When the police investigated what caused the accident, they found that both of the car’s brake lines had been leaking oil for some time. Joe had been meaning to get the recent sluggish brake response checked out, but he kept putting off the preventative check-up because he was so busy with work!

Your plumbing is more than just pipes

Just like Joe’s leaking brake lines, high blood pressure is an unseen, ticking time bomb that will wreak havoc on your life if you don’t take care of it. To understand high blood pressure, we first need to understand the anatomy and physiology of arteries and blood vessels.

Every artery and blood vessel is composed of three layers: inner, middle, and outer. The middle layer or what is called the “tunica media” is composed of smooth (involuntary) muscles, which are under the control of your autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. When your brain sends a nerve impulse to this muscle layer, and the muscle thereby contracts, the diameter of the vessels will constrict. If your brain tells the muscle layer to relax the diameter of the vessel will open up. Your brain constantly makes adjustments to your blood flow and pressure based on your body’s needs according to this involuntary mechanism. If the nerves that control this mechanism have constant pressure on them… your brain will be unable to control your blood pressure.

Infrared Thermography – Subtle changes of blood flow are one of the first effects of nerve interference from misaligned vertebra (subluxation/s). Infrared Thermography detects the corresponding temperature change that occurs whenever a change happens with blood flow (blood transfers heat). This is why Infrared Thermography is so important in chiropractic care — it detects the neurological cause of these abnormal changes in blood flow and pressure in a quick, safe way!

An exciting study published recently on blood pressure in the Journal of Human Hypertension, found on WebMD®, further illustrates the important connection between the nervous system and blood pressure. In this study, 25 patients with early stage, high blood pressure had the first vertebra of the neck (C1) adjusted over an eight-week period. (The nerves that exit at the first level of the neck have been found in clinical practice to affect blood pressure.) Twenty-five other patients with similar, early stage, high blood pressure received a sham (fake) adjustment of C1. The group that received the chiropractic adjustments saw a 14-point drop in their systolic blood pressure and an 8-point drop in their diastolic blood pressure! None of the patients in the study took blood pressure medication during the study. X-rays showed that the adjustments aligned the misalignment of the first vertebra (C1) in first group, where as no changes were noted with the group receiving the fake adjustments. Study leader George Bakris, MD, director of the University of Chicago Hypertension Center, stated that chiropractic adjustments for high blood pressure, “Seems to be adverse-event free… we saw no side effects and no problems.”

Pipes and the “Fuse Box”

Most patients are very surprised and fascinated when I tell them of this connection between the nerves and blood pressure. With this in mind let’s see what else the researchers had to say about this connection. Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, the 84-year-old doctor of chiropractic who performed all the adjustive procedures in the study, called the first vertebra of the neck (the Atlas), “The fuse box of the body.” He explained that, “At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain due to the Atlas getting locked in a position as little a half a millimeter out of line, it doesn’t cause pain, but it upsets these centers.”

It is well known from years of studying the brain and nervous system that the brain controls all body function. Sort of like a giant computer. Because of this, subluxations (misalignments) of the upper neck can directly affect the base of the brain (Hypothalamus), which controls all basic body functions. Therefore, a subluxation at this level can affect any body function and cause just about any disease known to mankind! Thank God that the medical community is finally catching up to these facts, albeit 100 years late! I find it very sad that most of us never learned this important information during school. Unfortunately, all of the health education that the average person receives seems to be from a “chemical perspective”, meaning that the reason we are sick is because we lack chemicals of some sort like blood pressure medication, antibiotics, aspirin, and ETC. The drug companies love it when folks take this approach to health because they sell more drugs and make more money! The problem with this approach is that it ignores the cause of high blood pressure or whatever the cause of other any diseases you are suffering with! By the way, everyone should know about 15 years ago the drug companies got the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies to arbitrarily lower the norms for blood pressure so that millions of folks are now taking unnecessary medication.

Talk about endangering the public over pure greed!

“Just Trust Me” will just about always get you into a world of hurt, but this is what patients do with their doctors. Let me explain by asking you this question: How can taking potentially dangerous chemicals make you healthier? The answer? THEY CAN’T! Here’s one example of this sobering truth: The blood pressure medication, Tenormin, has the following side effects: cardiac failure, slow heart rate, cold extremities, postural low blood pressure, leg pain, dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, fatigue, drowsiness, depression, disorientation, diarrhea, nausea, wheezing, shortness of breath, allergies, and low blood sugar! These are just a few of the side effects listed with this drug according to the Physician’s Desk Reference, the “Bible” of the pharmaceutical industry.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at

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