Dear Reader,

In the midst of the Covid pandemic and all of the other nonsense that is ongoing around the world, we thought that we would write about something that we ourselves may be able do to help. It’s something that affects far too many people world-wide; the silent killer – hypertension (high-blood pressure).

Never stop taking medication without first talking to your doctor: As with any healthcare advice that we write about, the very first port of call for advice is not us – it is your own doctor. So, please if you have high blood-pressure or any other health concerns, before you do anything, take this article to your GP and ask for a health check-up first. Then with their approval you can try both of the simple breathing exercises that we write about here. Do not do these exercises without approval.

Another word of caution: Sadly, with many things on the internet, there are lots and lots of baseless articles written about subjects like this, by writers who may not have much respect for the people who unwittingly may read it; but we do!

Our own research: Every newsletter at SkinLikes is carefully and thoughtfully investigated and the vast majority of information is taken from peer-reviewed websites such as the ones that we offer today. The (US) Mayo Clinic article writes about how hypertension effects your body and can be found at , but to assist those who may not have access to a computer, we will explain……

What’s bad about hypertension? We don’t think that we have to write here about the strain on your heart and other unpleasant things that can be caused by high blood pressure because we think that you all know. The undisputable facts are that eventually, an overwhelmed heart begins to fail and in doing so, it affects our bodies in so many ways.

Damage to our brain, transient ischemic attacks (TIA’s), sometimes called a mini-stroke, stroke, dementia, mild cognitive impairment (that generally comes with aging), damage to your kidneys and even eyes, never mind sexual dysfunction are just some of the complications.

Is medication the answer? Any medication can cause side effects and especially so if taken long term, however, from what we read, many people do not have side effects from taking hypertension drugs, and often the side effects are mild. Your doctor will advise what you need, but we think that in addition, these simple exercises could (with approval from your GP) be added to your regime, and in the long-term may help your general health.

So, what have we unearthed?

Dr Alan Mandell explains how to carry out the slow breathing exercise that as he says, lowers our blood pressure and pulse rate. You can find him on YouTube

He suggests that you sit in a comfortable chair or on the edge of the bed. Breathe in through the nose for the count of four to fill you belly. Hold for four or five seconds, and then exhale through the mouth for the count of eight, and as you do, try to push as much air as possible from your lungs. We found it a bit difficult on the out breath to start with, but with a little practice, we found it quite easy to do. Alan suggests that five to ten repetitions are good. 677,000 people have already viewed his video, so it does suggest that this exercise is of value – and we think he could be right. The more that you practice, he says, the easier it is to do, and the quicker that your body reacts to the goodness that you bring it, and from what we read elsewhere, a daily breathing exercise such as this, for ten minutes could be of great value.

Valsalva Manoeuvre: Alan then goes on to explain how to activate the Vagus nerve that runs from your brain through your neck and chest to your abdomen. The function of the Vagus nerve is to control your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response and as he says, stimulating it can can help to regulate many functions in your body. Directions: Breathe in deeply and then close your mouth and pinch your nose with the fingers to prevent any air escape; and then try to blow out as if you were pressing in the bathroom for a bowel movement. Do this for about five seconds and then blow the air out. Repeat the manoeuvre again.

And there you have it – two simple exercises. Doctor Mandell has advice on other health issues on YouTube and we find in all that they are a decent source of information. If your GP is open-minded and has an interest in complementary medicine, then he should not be closed to what we write here, but please speak with our own GP first, before doing anything. If he has any doubt then he can examine some of the peer-reviewed articles that we have found on-line, such as:

In all, we think that both of these exercises are worthy of a discussion with your own GP, and it would be great if you could give us some feedback; before and after the exercises. We will be delighted to hear the good news, that it has helped.

You can find out all about us and read other helpful articles at Best wishes from all of the team at SkinLikes.

Office: 0800 023 6252