IARP has released the latest Reiki Report yesterday. There is an interesting article that as an internist I enjoyed reading. Hypertension is extraordinarily common, affecting 31.1% (95% confidence interval, 30.0-32.2%) of the world’s adults had hypertension (1). Hypertension is easily one of the most common conditions I see throughout the day.
High blood pressure typically has no symptoms. It is typically found when vitals are checked at the beginning of a doctor’s visit. A normal blood pressure is somewhere around 120/80 (there are many recommendations on what is considered your normal, but around 120/80 is fairly good). If your blood pressure is higher than this, there are many factors that will go into if you should be on a medication.
Blood pressure is a wonderful indicator of overall health. A low blood pressure can indicate conditions such as severe infection, anemia, or life threatening dehydration. Blood pressure fluctuates depending on time of day, activities, stress, pain, as well as diet.
Elevations in blood pressure may occur transiently, sometimes called “white coat hypertension”, in which the stress of the clinical environment causes elevation in the readings. However, clinical studies have shown that “white coat hypertension” is a strong warning for chronic hypertension.
Hypertension has to be addressed, but many patients are surprised to learn that lifestyle modifications are the mainstay of treatment, while medications may be an addition to treatment.
IARP gives some nice examples from medical research on how Reiki can help to control blood pressure. Reiki treatment by a practitioner, or self treatment can be very helpful in lowering blood pressure along with your physician’s treatment plan. Reiki as a treatment intervention will lower stress, improve sleep, and may lead to some personal insight.
When teaching patients about the mind-body connection, one of the easiest lessons is checking a blood pressure after talking, then guiding the patient with deep breathing for about 3 minutes, then repeating the blood pressure. Patients are amazed to see their pulse and blood pressure naturally go down.
Remember to follow your physicians instructions. If you have been prescribed medications, not taking these as instructed can lead to dangerous consequences. Applying a holistic approach along with your treatment plan can and will help your overall health.
Correct way to monitor your blood pressure
If your are currently under the care of a physician and being treated for high blood pressure, you likely have been instructed on checking your blood pressure at home. I like patients to know a few things:
- Wrist blood pressure cuffs can be accurate, but you’ll need to measure at heart height, usually by placing your wrist on your chest.
- Try to sit quietly for at least 5 minutes before checking.
- Warm drinks and caffeinated drinks will raise your readings, as will many over the counter cold medications.