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Stressed about high blood pressure?

| News and Events | 05/06/2013

Tayma Wallbridge

If you are one of the 1 in 3 adults in the UK with high blood pressure you may be mystified as to why you have it.   This is because in only 10% of cases is there a known physical reason for it.  That means that for over 90% of people with high blood pressure there is no identifiable medical cause.  This type of high blood pressure is labelled ‘Primary’ or ‘Essential’ Hypertension.

Because there are very clear associated risks with strokes and coronary heart disease most sufferers then start taking medication to control their high blood pressure – sometimes for the rest of their lives.

What is well known about the causes of this type of high blood pressure is that there are often aggravating factors. There are a tiny number of people affected by sodium, but scientific opinion nowadays is that the link between salt and hypertension is very tenuous. The aggravating factors that undoubtedly have the most impact are a lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking or drinking too much alcohol.   It certainly makes a lot of sense to consider these factors and make any necessary lifestyle changes.

But for many people, even when these factors have been eliminated, their blood pressure still does not go back to a safe level.  The prevailing theories are that an underlying emotional factor known as ‘Sympathetic Overstimulation’ is responsible. In other words  stress, worry, anger, anxiety and fear.  When we feel these emotions we release stress hormones and a variety of physical changes occur in our body, including a rise in blood pressure.  And if you live daily with these emotions it may be the cause of your primary hypertension.

The good news is that there is much that you can do yourself to address these emotional factors.  It might mean just buying a relaxation CD to listen to each day, finding an absorbing hobby, taking more exercise or having more fun with family and friends.  For those who require more support however, there are hypertension professionals who will work with you, to reduce the stress in your life as well as make any lifestyle changes necessary.  You really do not have to resign yourself to a life of high blood pressure.

Tayma Wallbridge is a clinical hypnotherapist www.accreditedhypnotherapy.co.uk and a certified hypnotension practitioner www.hypnotension.com

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