Blood pressure machine, everything you need to know

Young Happy Man Sitting On Sofa Checking Blood Pressure with Blood Pressure Machine

Why own a blood pressure machine?

A blood pressure machine is one of the most valuable tools in the Autonomous Medicine arsenal.

Manual blood pressure cuffs are known as many things:

  • BP Cuff
  • BP Monitor
  • Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Blood Pressure Tester
  • Blood Pressure Device
  • Blood Pressure Gauge
  • Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff

So what does a digital blood pressure monitor do?

Essentially a blood pressure machine is a device that is specifically designed to measure arterial blood pressure. It has an inflatable bp cuff that goes around the upper arm and when inflated, prevents blood flow. As pressure is released and blood starts to flow, systolic pressure can be measured as that’s the pressure when the heart is pushing. Pressure is then released more until blood is flowing uninhibited and another reading is taken to measure diastolic (heart at rest) pressure.
It’s a rather simple, effective and has been around for ages. Blood pressure machines are the gold standard for measuring blood pressure for over 100 years.

There are essentially two different types of blood pressure machines:

Manual Type (Stethoscope is required)

This is one that you’re probably accustomed to seeing a doctor use when you visit a clinic. These types require special training and a stethoscope to get an accurate systolic pressure reading. There are two types of manual meters:

  1. Mercury-Based
    If you’re a bit older, you’re probably familiar with these. They use mercury as the medium to mark the measurement. This is considered the gold standard of accurate blood pressure machines. However, as we learned more about the hazards of mercury, environmental groups and others have protested their use and now they are no longer as common as before.
  2. Aneroid-Based
    These are what you’ll see in most medical practices these days. They require calibration (unlike mercury-based ones) but are generally considered safer due to the lack of hazardous metals. They can be self-applied and usually also auto inflate/deflate.

Digital type

Most battery-operated blood pressure machines are digital.  They’re typically free of hazardous metals, intuitive, and great in noisy environments. They consist of an inflatable cuff that can be applied easily for self-testing and an automatically inflating and deflating valve. These also have a digital monitor to display the readings, leaving nothing to interpretation.

The Importance of Monitoring Blood Pressure At Home

Blood pressure is a highly valuable metric for determining your overall health.  It is often overlooked and much more focus is put simply on people’s weight.  The prevailing idea that skinny=healthy is just not always accurate. Low blood pressure is typically a much better indicator of overall health, though most people have no ideas what their numbers are.

For this reason, it is recommended to get a good blood pressure machine, one with features that will encourage you to use it often.

Combating Blood Pressure

If you suspect that you’re hypertensive, your doctor has surely given you a list of lifestyle changes you’ll want to make.  Autonomous Medicine subscribes to the idea that we apply the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule), in everything that we do.  So we’ve created a list of research based high efficiency lifestyle changes you can make to drastically decrease your blood pressure.  If you’re looking to make dietary changes, checkout out our Ketogenic blood pressure fighting foods, and super diet called Judicious Consumption.


Do you own a blood pressure machine?  Would you recommend others to get one?



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