We have all watched enough television to know what it means when the physician asks the nurse, “what is the blood pressure?”
We even think we know what the doctor is talking about, but do we really?
Monitoring your blood pressure is simple and inexpensive.
Keeping track of your blood pressure
It is routinely monitored by your health care provider, but you can also keep track of it by testing yourself.
There are many different home blood pressure machines, plus the ones found in supermarkets. Take your home apparatus to your health care provider and compare readings to make sure it is correct. Of course, if you keep your blood pressure cuff hidden away in a drawer and only take it out once a year, you may as well not have it.
As for the supermarket machines, there was a recent study in Canada showing that if you take three consecutive readings about a minute apart, the last reading will be accurate.
Normal Blood Pressure (BP) is 120/80.
The top number is the systolic, the moment when the heart contracts. The lower number is the diastolic. That is when the heart is at rest.
High BP, or hypertension, is sometimes called “the silent killer” because many people do not even know they have it.
As the heart pumps blood through the arteries it pushes the blood against the arterial walls with a force measured as blood pressure. During an exam, your health care provider may notice certain indications that high BP has damaged organs, such as the kidneys, blood vessels or heart. High BP is dangerous because increased pressure in the circulatory system forces your heart to work harder to keep your blood moving.
High BP is defined as a reading above 140/90 mm Hg.
After the age of fifty, the systolic is a much more important risk factor then the diastolic. It should be kept below 140. This differs from the past, when the diastolic number was believed to be most important.
It is crucial to monitor your BP frequently because there is no guarantee that it will remain stable.
Prior to going on medications to lower your BP, you may be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as daily exercise and weight loss. Lowering the amount of cholesterol and reducing your sodium intake to less than 2,400 milligrams a day will help. Adding calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium to your diet is frequently recommended.
In fact, there are natural ways to lower cholesterol, though for many people medications are required to lower your readings.
Your health care provider will need to evaluate the best medication for you.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure
Recently, there have been many sleep-related studies linking poor sleep habits, or sleep apnea, to elevated BP.
The studies have shown that if you sleep poorly your chances of developing hypertension may increase. The quality of your sleep, specifically the amount of sleep, is important in your overall health and decreases the risk of hypertension.
Poor sleep habits are related to sleep apnea, which should be checked for if hypertension is diagnosed.
Dietary changes are critical.
As previously stated, lowering the fat intake and cholesterol, as well as reducing the amount of salt, is very important. Foods to add to your diet are:
- skim milk
- unsalted sunflower seeds
- different types of beans
- white potatoes
- soy beans
Better yet, the American Journal of Medical Association published an article in July, 2007 stating that 30 calories of dark chocolate a day is good for lowering hypertension (and you thought it was all bad news!).
Hypotension or mildly low BP may be a sign of good health and a decrease in heart disease, but a sudden drop in pressure cannot only have scary symptoms but also serious health consequences.
Orthostatic hypotension is a rapid and sudden decrease in BP that occurs when a person changes positions, such as sitting from a prone position or standing. The symptoms may be lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting (syncope), which occur when the body adjusts the way it pumps blood to maintain the pressure.
Even mild hypertension will lower your life expectancy to some degree if you do not seek treatment for it. If you have untreated severe hypertension, the disorder may shorten your life considerably.
Do you know what your BP reading is?
Hypnosis and hypertension
So how can hypnosis help reduce high blood pressure?
Hypnosis is very effective at treating a number of risk factors associated with your blood pressure and hypertension. For example, hypnosis is effective for treating insomnia and other sleep related issues. And it is proven effective for dealing with stress (another risk factor), smoking cessation and weight loss.
And all of these are risk factors for hypertension.
So, should you have one, or many, risk factors for high blood pressure there’s a good chance that hypnosis can help you.