I have been seeing a client who suffers from hypertension. In the initial stages of our process, her major concern was the need to reduce her high blood pressure. Before coming to see me, she had seen her GP who had prescribed medication. However, she was reluctant to take the medicine due to the possible side effects that had been listed. Her alternative was to embark on her own process of trying to resolve her physical condition by coming to see me.
She was in her mid fifties, and looked healthy. She had no weight issues, did not smoke and exercised routinely. In addition, she was a vegetarian. What struck me was that her lifestyle did not match the general profile of one who suffers from hypertension. Given this, one could not suggest more exercise or modifying her diet to help reduce her blood pressure. In other words, there were no obvious solutions to her ailment.
I have always been fascinated at how the body reveals an internal struggle (issue) via a physical symptom. Metaphorically, I think of hypertension as being excessive, trapped internal energy that needs to manifest in a creative way in the external world. In other words, there is an excessive amount of internal pressure that builds up that is looking for external release. That’s why exercise is usually so helpful for those suffering from high blood pressure. Further, I believe that hypertension is a ‘fight response’ to an external threat that a person perceives that does not switch off, causing an over-revved energy system over time.
In discussion, she stated that she perceived her heart to be a powerful muscle and that its rhythmic pump was strong, thus exerting extra pressure within her arteries with each beat. While this gave the impression of physical strength, what struck me about her was that she was extremely sensitive. In my interactions with her, I noticed that she was overly reactive and quick to respond to any external stimuli (which were some of my ideas that I presented to her). She felt her emotions strongly.
My client was keen to find her own unique solution to her hypertension. This proactive stance was the foundation on which she was going to base her healing. She bought a blood pressure monitor to read her pressure when she felt the need. She wanted to measure her variations during the day and draw her own conclusions about her blood pressure pattern. She started doing research on the topic of hypertension. She gained more knowledge. She surfed the net and came to our sessions with remedies (information) that she could try. She became aware that there were many opinions regarding how to reduce blood pressure, but these were general remedies. We discussed the information in more depth until she was satisfied that she had a more comprehensive understanding of what was being suggested by those who were working in the field. She compared suggestions, looked for similarities and noticed unusual differences that were being offered by articles that she had accessed.
She then decided to run some experiments on herself. She tried some remedies and tweaked them in her own unique way and then measured the effects on her blood pressure. She tried to give the remedies a chance by following them routinely for a period of time. In our sessions she reported some success, but she had not managed to reduce her pressure significantly enough for her own liking.
At that point in our process, I introduced the idea of trying to cultivate a ‘calm-submissive’ attitude toward her external environment, similar to what Cesar Millan of the Dog Whisperer suggests that dogs need when interacting in a pack. Since she was a dog lover, she was intrigued by the concept and wanted to monitor herself on this level in her everyday interactions.
Some four months into our work together, she reported that she had managed to consistently reduce her blood pressure; which was now falling within the average range. After a month of achieving this success, she shared her unique formula with me. She takes two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water every morning and evening. On an interactional level, she does not feel it necessary to defend her views or to take the opinions of others personally. When she hears something that unsettles her, she takes time to connect with her breathing pattern before she responds (if she decides to). Otherwise, she has learned to let things go. And just before taking her blood pressure she goes through a ritual of settling herself by closing her eyes, connecting with her breath and then calling up images of love.
While this story may inspire you to embark on your own exploratory journey to seek your own unique solution to whatever ailment (or difficulty) you may be encountering; it is always wise to consult with the relevant, trusted professionals so that a healing process unfolds in a caring, supportive context.