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What To Do for “White Coat Hypertension” When They Show Up with that BP Cuff

10 Nov

Since you have Successful Surgery, I was wondering if it would be possible for you to do something on the order of fear of medical procedures?  Specifically, for when getting your blood pressure checked. A good 30% of people, I've read, suffer from White Coat Hypertension.  It's something subconscious that we have no control over that beckons the fight or flight response in a doctor's office but is fine at home. This is a very worrisome condition causing many doctors to convince their patients they actually do have high blood pressure and give them dangerous unnecessary medications.  I can find nowhere on the web that offers this title.  It would be a valuable service and I know I would buy it.

Thank you for reading this.

Lana

Dear Lana,

Yes, I’m aware of this phenomenon, and I guess it’s so commonplace that many health professionals take this into account and don’t even count the first reading.  But we actually do have imagery that would cover this and other, even yuckier medical procedures, called Relaxed & Awake during Medical Procedures. I actually had things like MRI’s, colonoscopies and laparoscopies in mind when we made this one, but it would be fine for blood pressure-taking too, if a bit long. 

It might make more sense to use one of the short, easy-to-learn breathing exercises from the Panic Attack imagery or the Stress Hardiness imagery for this though, because all you’d need to do is practice a bit at home and then use the imagery and breathing in the office.  Either the Counting the Breath exercise or the Mantra Meditation exercise should work quickly and well for this. 

Best wishes,
Belleruth 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award