University of Chicago research shows that adjusting the atlas works as well or better than drugs at lowering blood pressure.
Q: I heard on Good Morning America that a chiropractor can lower blood pressure. I’d love to stop taking my blood pressure drugs because they make me tired. Please tell me whether this is true and if it is, how to find a chiropractor who can do it.
A: There is indeed a good double-blind, placebo-controlled study done at the University of Chicago and published in a respectable journal (Journal of Human Hypertension 03/02/09) to back up this claim. The adjustment used in the study is of the atlas vertebrae (C-1), which is located at the top of the neck, and is a very specific and precise technique done by a group called the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). You can locate a chiropractor in your area who does the technique on the website.
The study, which examined 50 people with a misaligned C-1 and high blood pressure, found that those who got the adjustment had a very significant drop in blood pressure equal to taking two blood pressure-lowering drugs.
There are undoubtedly other chiropractic techniques that can adjust the atlas, but the NUCCA has gone to the trouble of doing a well-designed study to test the efficacy of their technique for lowering blood pressure, and that deserves a lot of respect.
While it’s important to control blood pressure, conventional medical treatment relies almost exclusively on drugs. Although these drugs are very effective at lowering blood pressure, their side effects make them risky, and many people taking them experience a drop in their quality of life. Excessively low blood pressure can cause fatigue, confusion, foggy thinking, and dizziness that can result in falls.
Please don’t rely on a chiropractic adjustment alone to reduce blood pressure. There are many simple, effective and safe ways to lower blood pressure. For details, please read What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Blood Pressure by Dr. John Lee. For details on the side effects of specific blood pressure drugs, please read Prescription Alternatives.