Available for Interviews: Dr. Alice Fong
Alice Fong, ND, is an integrative naturopathic doctor specializing in stress, integrative medicine, diet & weight loss, and is a business growth consultant for holistic healthcare providers.
What Dr. Alice Fong can say in an interview
on How to Lower Your Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is a medical condition that can increase a person’s risk of some serious, even life-threatening concerns such as heart attacks and strokes. A common cause or contributing factor to hypertension is stress. When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and the blood in our body is directed to the heart to be able to beat it faster in anticipation of danger. This mechanism also elevates our blood pressure.
It is possible to learn how to regulate our nervous system and train our bodies to get out of the stress state and enter the opposite state, called the ‘parasympathetic nervous system,’ also known as the ‘rest and digest’ state.
The easiest way to regulate our nervous system, which can subsequently slow down our heart rate and lower our blood pressure, is through breathing.
Here are the 6 steps to breathing that will help our bodies get into a relaxed parasympathetic state:
- Use your diaphragm (belly) to breathe instead of your chest. You can put your hand on your belly to feel it moving in and out to help with this. Placing a hand on your chest can also help you assess whether it is moving or not (the goal is to not move the chest). Watching yourself in a mirror can also be a helpful tool.
- Breath slowly. The standard medically defined breath rate is 12-20 breaths/min, but the optimal breathing rate for parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest/relaxed state) is 4.5-6.5 breaths/minute.
- Breath through your nose.
- Do NOT take deep breaths, take SHALLOW breaths. If you can’t inhale or exhale the length of time on the CD, just pause and hold your breath until it indicates for you to breathe out. Do NOT strain your diaphragmatic muscles when breathing (it defeats the purpose of relaxing!). People confuse deep breathing with belly breathing. We want shallow belly breathing.
- Make your exhale (breathing out) longer or equal to your inhale (breathing in).
- Sit comfortably and upright (back straight to get good airflow).
Please take into account that there are many factors that can cause or contribute to high blood pressure, and it’s important to address this health condition with your doctor.
Interview: Dr. Alice Fong
Known as the “Virtual Stress Doc,” Alice Fong, ND, helps busy professionals break free from their stress and anxiety so that they can focus on what matters to them using a 5-step holistic approach. She is the founder and CEO of Amour de Soi Wellness, which offers one-on-one wellness programs, corporate wellness workshops, e-learning, and resilience training courses.
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