Even Mild Stress Can Raise Blood Pressure

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February 20, 2002 | 70,573 views

It's been clear for some time that psychological stress is linkedto high blood pressure, or hypertension, but the reason is unknown.

And until recently, investigations of a stress-hypertension linkhave been conducted in laboratories, using staged activities suchas public speaking and mental arithmetic to "stress out"participants.

Now, in a "real-world" setting, a research team in Italyhas confirmed that mild stress can increase blood pressure and impairthe cardiovascular system's ability to regulate itself.

These changes might contribute, in susceptible individuals, tothe link between psychological stress and increased cardiovascularrisk of hypertension.

The scientists detected the changes using a technique called autonomicassessment, which measures alterations in the autonomic nervoussystem. The autonomic nervous system controls blood pressure, theheart's rhythm and its ability to contract, and other importantbodily functions.

Changes in autonomic function can be detectedby computerized analysis of beat-by-beat cardiovascular variabilityon an electrocardiogram.

They confirmed that students were stressed on exam days, basedon their responses to psychological questionnaires, their salivalevels of the stress hormone cortisol, and their saliva levels ofcytokines, proteins the immune system releases when the body isstressed.

The students' blood pressure and heart rate were markedly higheron the exam day than on the vacation day, the researchers determined.Other autonomic measures, such as heart rate variability, a measureof the heart's ability to handle stress, were also elevated on examday.

For example, he pointed out, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors inhibitan important component of the autonomic nervous system, called thesympathetic nervous system. Conversely, calcium-channel blockers,a different class of antihypertensive drugs, boost the sympatheticnervous system. Autonomic assessment could make it clear whethera patient's sympathetic nervous system is adequate or needs to beenhanced or suppressed.

Hypertension 2002;139:184-188

It has been previouslyshown that people with heart disease can lower their risk ofsubsequent cardiac events by over 70% if they learn how to managestress.

I am clinically convinced that the vast majority of heart diseaseand cancer is foundationally related to unresolved emotional conflict.The study described above clearly seems to support this notion.

Suppressed emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness, thatare not fully transformed will severely limit one's ability to copewith the normal stresses of life. It is not so much the stress thatkills us, but our impaired ability to cope with it. Emotional andspiritual transformation are probably the keys to resolving this.

Fortunately, the technology now exists to rapidly and effectivelytransform these emotions. We do it every day in our office withEFT and other bioenergetic tools.

Through extensive research I have found another tool to usein the area of stress management that is a remarkably effectiveand efficient (and very affordable) way to help you achieve innerpeace and significantly reduce stress and anxiety.

The Insight audio CD,which I personally listen to and now recommend to my patients, isan exceptional tool to help you target the daily stresses in yourlife that act as prime contributors to all forms of diseases.

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