High blood pressure is considered a “silent epidemic,” as many people have it but don’t know it.
The usual treatment is drugs, and there are some dietary strategies, especially cutting down on salt and fat. Stress reduction is highly recommended as well. However, there is more to the issue than salt and stress.
Samuel Mann is a hypertension specialist and an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Hypertension Center of The New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He began to notice a pattern that did not accord with the common view that stress is linked to this condition.
“Even patients with severe hypertension did not seem more emotionally distressed than others,” he writes in his book Healing Hypertension: A Revolutionary New Approach. “If anything, they seemed less distressed. Their high blood pressure appeared to be more related to what they did not seem to be feeling than to what they were feeling.”
He began to see in his patients that old, unhealed, repressed trauma seemed to be a major culprit in the problem.
These are the main concepts covered by Dr Mann in his book:
- Blood pressure fluctuates all the time, day by day, and there has been extensive over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment of millions of people.
- Anger or stress can elevate blood pressure temporarily, but do not actually cause hypertension.
- Here is the main point: “it is our hidden emotions, the emotions we do not feel, that lead to hypertension and many other unexplained physical disorders.”
- To deal with hypertension at its core, it is necessary to bring those hidden emotions to the light, to consciousness, and to deal with them.
- For those who are under the care of a physician for hypertension, incorporating this information can help the physician select a more appropriate drug, if required, to match it to the cause of the condition.
While for many people there are contributing factors to hypertension such as genetics, obesity, and salt consumption, for countless others it may be driven mainly by repressed feelings due to traumatic experiences.
Generally, it is not easy to deal with these, and the process can be painful. However, it may be well worth considering it as part of treatment.
There is a choice: those who are willing to face their hidden demons can take on the work of uncovering them, while those who do not want to deal with these issues can opt for the standard medical and/or naturopathic treatment to help control the condition.