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Hypnosis For Hypertension by Mark Grossman, CHT

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High Blood Pressure and Hypertension

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Currently research is being focused on the effects of positive emotions on health (HeartMath). Studies done at the Harvard School of Public Health and The Institute at HeartMath point to optimism as a key to reducing the chances of heart disease. These studies show that positive emotions and attitudes correlate to better problem solving skills. Studies also show hypnosis as a powerful tool to evoke positive emotions which promote good health.

Health agency reports show that hypertension is a major health problem worldwide. In the USA, more than 50 million people (one in four adults) have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, which is one measure of hypertension. According to the American Heart Association, 30% of Americans are unaware that they have high blood pressure and another 26% are already on medications but do not have their blood pressure under control.

According to a study released in 1993, between 40% - 50% of patients with high blood pressure discontinue their medications within six months. Side effects, complicated dosing schedules, expense and apathy are the major reasons why most quit taking prescription medications aimed at hypertension and high blood pressure.

It is well known in medical research that stress and emotional distress can contribute to hypertension or high blood pressure. These recurrent episodes of stress in one's life eventually lead to vascular changes which result in sustained high levels of hypertension. Stress from work or family, anger, hostility, resentment, anxiety and other 'negative' emotions can raise blood pressure levels, which is a precursor to other ailments.

According to the American Heart Association, over the last ten years, the number of deaths due to high blood pressure has increased by 40%. Already one out of two adults over the age of 60 have high blood pressure. Most American adults have blood pressure over the ideal of 115/75. In fact, less than 10% of those over 50 have ideal blood pressure. 90% of all adults older than middle age have a lifetime risk of high blood pressure unless they take active steps to prevent it.

Left untreated, high blood pressure will gradually continue to rise even higher over your life span. As vascular changes restrict the flow of blood and nutrients, other organs are at greater risk as well, which leads to their damage and/or failure. Research reports show that those with hypertension are at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, hardening of the arteries, aneurysm, kidney failure and retinopathy.

High blood pressure is more than a leading cause of heart attack or stroke. It is also a major factor in memory loss, wrinkling of skin, impotence and decreased sexual response.

How Stress and Emotions Affect the Body

One of the most widely researched emotional links to high blood pressure is stress. The most common form of chronic stress is experienced in trying to deal with the pressures of modern life. This unleashes powerful hormones that over time can cause cardiovascular damage.

A person's mood can worsen or benefit the body. At a cellular level, our emotions generate a complex interaction of biochemicals and electrical activity. Dr. Candace Pert who discovered the opiate receptor (endorphins), documents in her book, Molecules of Emotion, that "every thought a person has results in a biochemical release within the body."

Stress triggers the fight or flight response in the body. This produces a sequence of physiological reactions:

* The brain sends hormonal messengers to various organs to prepare to flee from or fight the danger (whether real or imagined).

* The adrenal glands release adrenalin (epinephrine) that makes the heart pump faster and the lungs work harder to flood the body with oxygen.

* Cortisol and glucocorticoids are released which convert stored glycogen (fat) and sugars into energy (That's why we crave sweets when we're under stress!).

* Nerve cells release norepinephrine causing muscles to tense and the senses to sharpen in preparation for action.

* Digestion slows down to a halt, respiration increases and the immune system is weakened.

* When the perceived 'threat' passes, the levels of these hormones drop and the body returns to homeostasis. But if the perceived 'threat' continues, the body remains stressed and the arteries and arterioles can be damaged. Chronic, low level stress keeps a higher than normal level of some glutocorticoids in circulation.

In prehistoric times, we had saber-tooth tigers to trigger our fight or flight response. Today our "predators" are imagined threats. They are the people we react to like our boss, our co-worker, our wife, husband or children. How we relate to our work, relationship and financial pressure contribute to stress. It is when we feel out of control that our blood pressure sky-rockets.
The therapeutic use of hypnosis is expanding for its ability to help lower blood pressure levels. Hypnosis is a non-invasive, natural method to normalize blood pressure and to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal itself. Hypnosis is a valuable and powerful tool. Once learned, it has a compounding effect when practiced over time and health improves. It is available over a whole lifetime. There are no side effects. And it is an effective adjunct in making the lifestyle changes that are needed, but seem so hard to achieve.

Hypnosis benefits the hypertensive patient in several ways:

* Hypnosis helps to lower blood pressure and keep it down whether the patient is taking medication or not.

* Blood pressure tends to be more stable and long-lasting with hypnosis than medication.

* It is non-invasive and safer than medication.

* Compared to a lifetime of expensive co-pays for medications, hypnosis is an inexpensive way to control this life-threatening condition.

* There are no side effects with hypnosis.

* It is easier to do than adhering to complicated dosing schedules of medication.

* Hypnosis can be used to promote compliance with physicians orders to adjust lifestyle (diet and exercise).

* Hypnosis promotes feelings of well-being and a sense of control.

The Hypnosis For Hypertension program goes beyond diet and exercise to lower your blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, thus reducing/eliminating the need for blood pressure medication and their unwanted side effects. The program helps to safely and easily lower blood pressure levels with regular use only minutes per day.

About The Author:
Mark D. Grossman, CHT is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and licensed with HeartMath offering the Hypnosis For Hypertension program. Call 585-738-6300 for additional information or email

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