The average normal adult blood pressure is 120 systolic and 80 diastolic or simply stated as 120 over 80 in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or 120/80 mmHg. Every individual varies in his or her blood pressure level.
The blood pressure reading mentioned above may be used as a reference in measuring your own blood pressure; a little higher or lower from these numbers are still considered within the safe limits.
There are several ways to determine your own blood pressure, you can start with your pulse, a coin-operated machine in a convenient stores, buy a battery operated gadget or purchase the old trusty device used by some doctors called a sphygmomanometer.
Measure the Blood Pressure with Your Pulse
The pulse can be taken from any parts of the body but the ideal part is the wrist. For this purpose use a clock or a watch with a second hand.
All you have to do is place the arm on the table with the elbow parallel to the heart. Find your pulse in the wrist. A right-handed should press the right side of the wrist with the palm facing upward using two to three fingers of the left hand. A left-handed would have to do the opposite.
Get a steady beat for a period of one minute. If already an expert, this can be reduced every ten seconds and multiply it by six. The steady beat represents the blood pressure on the beats per minute and the volume of blood surge to pump the heart. Therefore, a lower pulse rate means a lower blood pressure under resting stage.
Another way to measure your own blood pressure using your pulse is by standing. Just hold your arm upward in the air and find the pulse in the wrist.
Using a Sphygmomanometer
Wrap the band (cuff) around the arm to stop the flow of blood then pump the sphygmomanometer to produce some pressure.
Use a stethoscope to listen to an artery just below the band then slowly release the band. As the blood starts to flow, the systolic pressure (high number) will come through. On the part of the diastolic pressure (low number), the beats will stop and the sound becomes steady.
The use of a stethoscope in other sphygmomanometers is no longer needed due to its built in sound-sensing device which is more sensitive and objective than the ear.
In buying your own sphygmomanometer, directions in its use is sometimes not available. Hence, the following directions on how to use a sphygmomanometer may come in handy.
1. The band should be snugly wrapped but not tightly.
2. Apply pressure using the pump about 200 to 225 millimeters. If in shape, 150 millimeters is alright.
3. Drain the air from the band on a slow and steady basis. Some devices are already on automatic mode.
4. Try to get several measurements to get consistent results. In some cases, inaccurate readings arise due to surges in current, charge build up and low batteries.
5. When taking your own blood pressure always use a table. The elbow should be placed rested on the table about the level of the heart.
The beauty of knowing how to measure your own blood pressure will allow you to gain a personal knowledge of your body for your convenience. Any changes you make on your diet and the effect of your routine exercise will be closely monitored thereby sensing a better body control. Moreover, the abnormal rise in your blood pressure when doctors do the taking, known as white-coat hypertension, will be eliminated.