"When was the last time you did a high-five in your doctor's office after getting a great update on your health goal? That happened to me during a recent follow-up appointment with Sarah Acosta-Smith, ND, and her student clinicians. Several months after I began to see Dr. Acosta-Smith in Bastyr Center’s Team Care shift, I had hit a pretty big (to me, anyway) milestone in my treatment to get my blood pressure to normal levels. I was ecstatic! Had to do that high-five!
"High blood pressure is something I've been dealing with for several years. I got really frustrated with conventional doctors who just kept wanting to slap more pharmaceuticals on the problem. When I was first diagnosed in my late 20s, I was in great general health, ate well and exercised regularly. Every doctor I saw then dismissed my concerns that stress could be aggravating my blood pressure (I had a very stressful job in the newspaper business, and my blood pressure had always been normal through college). I was so frustrated! When I learned about natural medicine about five years ago, I decided to go check out Bastyr Center.
"Immediately at my first appointment, I knew Bastyr Center would be able to help me. I finally felt heard! The doctors and medical students confirmed what I already believed, that stress can aggravate blood pressure. And I learned that treating high blood pressure isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of condition.
"Have I always kept up my end of the deal (taking my medication and supplements regularly) since I first came to Bastyr? No I haven't. Like many people, I made excuses about my health ... And would end up in urgent care or the ER because my blood pressure was dangerously high about once a year. Not fun, but it was my own fault.
"Earlier this year, I recommitted to my health and made a promise to myself to get my blood pressure under control again. No more excuses! When I returned to Team Care, Dr. Acosta-Smith and her students recommended different ways for me manage stress better, including simple things like increasing the amount of cardio I do each week and adding breathing exercises in my routine. Better stress management and some of their other recommendations have really made a huge difference! My blood pressure is now lower than it's been in years, which led to the high-fives I mentioned earlier! :-) Amazing!
"Bastyr is my clinic for life! I'm so thankful the clinic exists, and I have enjoyed seeing every doctor who has helped me along the way to better health! High-five!"