To manually take your blood pressure, you’ll need a blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon and an aneroid monitor, also known as a sphygmomanometer, and a stethoscope. An aneroid monitor is a number dial. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or family member, because it can be difficult to use this method on your own.
Here are the steps to taking your blood pressure at home:
- Before taking your blood pressure, make sure you’re relaxed. Position your arm straight, palm facing up on a level surface, such as a table. You’ll place the cuff on your bicep and squeeze the balloon to inflate the cuff. Using the numbers on the aneroid monitor, inflate the cuff about 20-30 mm Hg over your normal blood pressure. If you don’t know your normal blood pressure, ask your doctor how much you should inflate the cuff.
- Once the cuff is inflated, place the stethoscope with the flat side down on the inside of your elbow crease, toward the inner part of your arm where the major artery of your arm is located. Be sure to test the stethoscope before using it to make sure you can hear properly. You can do that by tapping on the stethoscope. It’s also helpful to have a high-quality stethoscope and to ensure that the ears of the stethoscope are pointed in toward your eardrums.
- Slowly deflate the balloon as you listen through the stethoscope to hear the first “whoosh” of the blood flowing, and remember that number. This is your systolic blood pressure. You’ll hear the blood pulsing, so keep listening and allow the balloon to slowly deflate until that rhythm stops. When the rhythm stops, record that measurement. This is your diastolic blood pressure. You’ll record