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This morning I tried an experiment.

I sat down after breakfast and went into a mild hypnotic relaxed state whilst imagining a calm and peaceful place. During this time I measured my heart rate ( well actually my wife did this for me ). My heart rate was 60 beats per minute. I then spent another minute simply imagining some really stressful scenarios and enjoyed seeing my wife’s surprise – my heart rate was now 75 beats per minute. I’m sure a blood pressure monitor would have told an interesting tale too.

White coat syndrome is a well known phenomenon; when people have their blood pressure measured by a nurse or doctor the reading is quite often raised due to the stress they are experiencing simply by that setting. For some, the doctor’s office is not a particular relaxing place. The problem with this is that many people may be on medication as a result of these skewed results.

The reality is that blood pressure changes throughout the day and can be quite different in the morning as compared with evening readings. It can also be distorted by factors such as a full bladder, digestion, after smoking or drinking a cup of coffee. To take a reliable reading it is therefore advisable to take a few samples throughout the day.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) has been associated with heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and heart failure so it is an issue that does need to be positively addressed if you or anyone you know is correctly diagnosed. If you do have high blood pressure, then losing some weight, reducing stress, giving up smoking and exercising can all be of help. All of these issues can be supported by using hypnotherapy.

There is also evidence to show (1) that hypnotherapy can aid in reducing blood pressure in the long term.

So let’s begin that journey to better health. So, sit back, relax and imagine that warm sunny beach …………..

1. Gay (2007) Effectiveness of Hypnosis in Reducing Mild Essential Hypertension: A One-Year Follow-Up International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 55 (1): 67-83

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