White coat syndrome and the impact on blood pressure
9th June, 20170 Comments
Lots of people have "white coat syndrome" where they are stressed by having to go and see a doctor. This can sometimes lead to worrying problems with their health by increasing blood pressure to a point where doctors want to start or increase medication that may not be needed!
The idea that stress causes higher blood pressure isn't a new one but finding out that it is the actual trip to get it checked that's causing the rise can be difficult to prove, meaning patients are sometimes given medication unnecessarily.
Hypnosis helps by allowing the subconscious mind to recognise the vicious circle that it creates when becoming stressed by the appointment.
To explain, the patient arrives at doctors worried about the machine/results of the test, increasing blood pressure - blood pressure is measured and a higher than normal result is given increasing the stress = increasing blood pressure even more. A second measurement is taken, with even higher results... The patient is then booked in for another appointment for another check or even increased meds straight away if seen to be needed. Worry ensues from that point until next appointment and the circle continues.
In order to break this circle the client's subconscious needs to be given another job which will enable the client to relax as opposed to stress. Utilising suggestions for calm and comfort leading up to the appointment and an anchor to release stress in the arm used for the test so the machine can do its job the first time with as little discomfort as possible all pave the way for a lower blood pressure reading.
Of course, if it turns out that it isn't the worry of the result or appointment keeping the blood pressure high, hypnosis will have no impact meaning the client will still get the treatment they need.
In a situation like this, it is important to explore every avenue. You know your body and if you know you are stressed because of the appointment it won't hurt to see a hypnotherapist.
About the author
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.
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