The medical definition of hypertension is – high blood pressure, a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.
What happens in the body when you have hypertension?
When you have hypertension, you body is somewhat in a prolonged natural state of response to stress, real or imagined. Hypothalamus, the brain’s master gland and the apex of the body’s autonomous nervous system, sets up a number of responses which result in the release of cortisol and adrenalin in the adrenal gland. These two hormones increase the heart rate, blood pressure, tighten the muscles, which causes the blood flow to be distributed from the intestines to the muscles, so that there is enough oxygen to “escape or fight.” All of this is the body’s natural coping mechanism to stress.
In a short term, this response can be useful, it makes you alert, sharp, ready to react, run and escape. Stress is an adaptive mechanism with response to threat or the perception of threat. However, in a long term, chronic stress causes the release of the same set of responses for extended periods of time, leading to hypertension and it can devastate the body.
What are the causes for hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition which doctors call idiopathic or essential hypertension (as opposed to the secondary hypertension, which is caused by a kidney disease). Essential hypertension means that the actual cause for this condition is unknown. However, research and studies show that stress plays a big part in the development of hypertension. According to Dr.Herbert Benson, the author of “The Relaxation Response”(1975) at the Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Mass General Hospital in Boston, a full 60-90 percent of doctor visits are for stress-related complaints, hypertension is one of them.
Hypertension is a stress response which begins as a coping mechanism to your environment, which presents threat or at least is perceived as threat. It can be danger, unexpected turn of events, a traumatic event, demanding parents, something uncomfortable or presenting a loss of something, which maybe important to an organism and etc. It begins with an emotional event in the brain such as fear, which is then communicated to the brain’s hypothalamus, which in turn causes the release of cortisol and adrenalin.
It is pretty obvious, even as indicated by the name of the condition: HYPER-TENSION, which means that the person with hypertension has too much tension in their life, so the adrenaline levels are too high and their blood pressure goes up.
If people experience stress earlier in their lives, they will tend to perceive stress even if there isn’t any, so they will tend to be more stressed on a day-to-day basis. And even more, when the real stress is in there, they are unlikely to perceive it and react to it in the most efficient way, unless they were calm and relaxed in the first place.
How exactly does long term stress affect your health?
The long term chronic stress response (the release of adrenaline and cortisol) causes too much tension in your muscles, suppression of the immune system, redistribution of body fat that promotes heart disease. It can cause depression, chronic fatigue, ulceration of the intestines, thinning of the bones and osteoporosis, cancer and etc.
How can hypnosis help reduce hypertension and chronic stress?
Hypnosis therapy can be used to achieve three things:
1. reprogram past events and situations (if any) which caused one to experience stress or trauma as a child.
2 establish a mental state of safety and trust at the deep unconscious level and learn to be more in touch with yourself.
3. learn how to relax physically and mentally at will, with self-hypnosis techniques and meditation.
If you experienced any sort of threat at a child, you have build coping mechanisms to stress and may have a tendency to be in the frequent fight-or-flight response state, just to “protect” yourself. Through hypnosis therapy you can release old fears, shame, self-imposed limitations and begin to trust yourself and your environment, as an adult. You can learn to slow down, become more present and aware of yourself, feel safe and secure all the time. You can utilize deep breathing and relaxation techniques on a regular basis to slow down your heart rate and metabolism, overall elicit a natural relaxation response and feel more at peace with yourself.
According to Dr.Gabor Mate some people who experience chronic stress, can be involuntarily dependent, if not addicted to the chemicals of cortisol or adrenalin in their body, all in order to “live” in their day-to-day environment. Without them, they may feel uncomfortable and uneasy with a natural state of physical and mental relaxation. Through hypnosis, a person can understand and develop trust and comfort with the state of relaxation.
How many hypnosis sessions do I need to overcome hypertension?
I can not guarantee you will overcome hypertension. However, you can significantly reduce the symptoms of hypertension. While results may vary from person to person, in two hypnosis sessions you will begin to understand the nature and mechanism of deep relaxation and you will learn how to elicit and maintain a relaxation response. Again, every person is different, some may need to release some patters of the past and even traumatic events from childhood through hypnosis regression therapy, others may simply need to learn and adapt new coping mechanism, such as relaxation. Some clients see me for a few more 1 hour hypnosis sessions for meditation and deep relaxation, just to reinforce and secure this natural state of well being.
All of my clients learn self-hypnosis techniques, and receive complimentary self-hypnosis audios recordings.
Book your Hypnotherapy sessions in your own home with Darryl