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>> Within the human body there are 60,000 miles of passageways that carry life sustaining blood into and out of your heart. These passageways are the body's blood vessels. Blood vessel walls pulsate, constrict and relax to constantly move blood throughout your body and deliver it to all your body's tissues and organs. The force of blood against the blood vessel wall is known as blood pressure. As a healthcare professional it is critical that you understand how the body controls blood pressure so that you can accurately measure it in your patients. You can assess the efficiency of your patient's blood circulation through the use of two common measurements; taking your patient's pulse and measuring their blood pressure. The most common method you will use to measure your patient's blood pressure is the oscillatory method. This is done through the use of a medical device known as a blood pressure cuff. This device is wrapped around the patient's arm and enables you to listen to or oscillate the sounds of blood flow in your patient's brachial artery. The sounds you hear may indicate whether a patient has high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is caused by a number of factors including stress, diet and obesity. Hypertension is a serious disease that can lead to stroke and even heart failure. Having a solid understanding of how the body controls blood pressure and how and where to measure the blood pressure in your patient is critical to assess their overall circulatory health.