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Dizziness, such as when standing up from a chair, is very often a sign of hypotension, or below normal blood pressure.

Standing up increases the gravitation forces on the blood in our body resulting in a large fraction of our blood being pulled down into our lower body, and away from the heart. If this blood is not quickly pumped back up to the heart, cardiac output will fall, resulting in a drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressures makes it difficult for your body to maintain adequate blood flow into the brain, which can result in dizziness or even loss of consciousness (fainting). Dizzy spells can be of particular concern in the elderly as they are associated with a greatly increased risk of falls.

Dizziness may simply be an indication that you are dehydrated, in which case, drinking water will correct the problem. However, chronic dizziness suggests that excessive blood and fluids are pooling into your legs when you stand up, and this is commonly a result of the soleus muscles in the calf of your legs being weak. The soleus muscles serves as “secondary hearts” pumping fluid from the lower part of your body back up to the upper part of your body. If you have soleus muscle insufficiency, fluid will continue to pool as you stand and you will need to either sit back down, or even lie down to prevent fainting.

Fortunately, like all muscles in the body, your soleus muscles can be trained back up if they are weak. Exercises such as squatting, Tai Chi, or certain yoga exercise can help, or you can use a passive exercise approach. The HeartPartner was developed to provide such a passive exercise approach to retraining your soleus muscles. You just need to place the front of your feet on the HeartPartner surface (you can leave your shoes and socks on), and the HeartPartner will do the rest. You can read, work on a computer, watch television, or any other seated activity while exercising your soleus muscles. Within weeks you should notice your dizzy spells are becoming less common.