Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. It rises when the heart beats and falls when the heart relaxes between beats. Such a pumping cycle normally generates blood pressure at the reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg. However, if the reading goes higher and reaches 140/90 mmHg, it is considered high blood pressure. Blood pressure is influenced by many factors including electrolyte balance, hormones, medications, stress, diet, lifestyle and certain medical conditions.
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), rising blood pressure often falls into a pattern called “Ascendant Liver Yang” or ascendant hyperactivity of liver yang. The TCM pattern results from an imbalance of Yin and Yang in which Yin is weakened and cannot hold Yang in the Liver in balance and causes the Yang uprising. Therefore, a main principle in TCM to address ascendant Liver Yang is to calm the liver, subdue the errant Yang, and simultaneously enrich the Yin.
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