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Tips to fight hypertension

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Old 05-11-2014
Pill Tips to fight hypertension

Tips to fight hypertension

A frenetic pace of life, long working hours and irregular food habits are the main causes for young professionals increasingly developing high blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension.

According to a recent study, Dr VV Muthusamy, chief cardiologist and medical director of Sugapriya Hospital in Madurai and the director of World Hypertension League, says there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of young professionals who have been diagnosed with the condition as compared to the
year 2002.

What’s the hype
Blood pressure is of two types - systolic and diastolic. While both deserve immediate care and medical assistance, fluctuations in the systolic or the high level of blood pressure causes various problems to the heart, brain, kidneys and the eyes. “While a 120 by 80 or 130 by 90 is considered normal, any figure above 140 is termed as hypertension,” explains Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, senior cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.

While doctors usually prescribe isotonic exercises to strengthen muscles and improve joint mobility for hypertension patients, anything that slows down the mind and body is beneficial. “We recommend brisk walking, yoga, jogging and aerobics. Some of my patients also take up zumba,” says Dr Dora.

However, there are creative ways to keep the pressure from rising:

Dance like no one is watching
Close your eyes, and picture this: You are walking in a forest, lush with greenery, and towards a calm lake. Does this image transcend your mind into a relaxed state of mind? “This is the benefit of creative visualisation.

Coupled with music, which plays a powerful tool when used together with movement therapy, there are some visualising techniques and movements that can benefit hypertension patients,” explains creative movement therapist, Tripura Kashyap. Take for instance, enacting a bird flying in the sky. One can put on some soft instrumental music, spread his/her hands out and enact the soothing flight of a bird.

“Another technique is to coordinate the breath and movement. It slows one down. The movements, like in Tai Chi, are done at a slow speed, and when one is able to control his breathing, the blood pressure, in turn, drops,” she elaborates.

Another exercise, says Kashyap, is movement of hand with colourful ribbons. “When a patient holds brightly hued streamers and ribbons, it triggers a sense of joy and fun. One is able to forget all worries and bask in the calmness of the movement.”

Laugh it out
Kishore Kuvavala, founder of a laughter therapy forum at Chowpatty called Essence of Life, who conducts sessions from Monday to Friday, recommends a laughter session to control hypertension. According to him, stress is the reason for 90 per cent of your problems such as blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, Parkinsons, AIDS and cancer.

“Laughter causes the mind and body to enter a state of oneness, which results in a thoughtless state of mind. This releases the stress temporarily. Stress is caused by thoughts. On an average, we have 60,000 every day. When you laugh, you use 100 per cent of your lung function, and the intake of oxygen increases. More oxygen flows throughout the body. It is the best massage for the internal organs.”

The power of touch
Any activity that requires your complete focus and concentration helps you switch off from everyday thoughts and worries. To work on the potter’s wheel is one such activity. “You cannot work the potter’s wheel without letting go of your worries.

Clay therapy works around the theme of touch,” explains Chetna Mehrotra of Rangbhoomi, a creative arts academy. “When you work with clay, it rekindles your childhood memories and even the emotional psychosomatic stresses that are stored in the muscles are released,” says Mehrotra, adding that it is scientifically proven that clay therapy helps control hypertension, and even mild depression that affects women.
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