Dear Belleruth,

I am having a persistent problem with hypertension - high systolic numbers.  What would you recommend insofar as an appropriate CD or imagery technique, or perhaps meditation?  Your help will be a blessing and very much appreciated.  I have a multitude of other problems, but this one could kill me if I don't get it under control.  Again, thanks much.



Dear David,

There are many research-proven mind-body methods to help you get your hypertension under control, to complement whatever allopathic methods you’re using.  It more depends on what suits you and is easiest for you to do – and therefore more likely you’ll stay with it on a regular basis – rather than being about one technique that works best above all others. 

If you like hypnosis, the gifted health psychologist, Dr. Carol Ginandes, has just come out with a new double CD set, Perfect Pressure, Healthy Heart. This is an extraordinarily skillful, comprehensive and powerful set of six hypnotic exercises designed to normalize blood pressure. I’m a big fan of her work, so if you’re comfortable with hypnosis (which isn’t all that different from guided imagery), and are up for working fairly comprehensively with 6 different exercises, you might want to start there. 

If you’re an imagery person, and just want to start with one meditation, our Healthy Heart imagery deals specifically with high blood pressure. But I should also add that any guided imagery that soothes and relaxes you is probably going to make a dent on your blood pressure – including Relieve Stress and Relaxation & Wellness.

If you think you might prefer a male voice offering 4 different exercises that use a more straightforward, hypnotic technique, you might want to try the awesome Emmett Miller’s Down with High Blood Pressure

And of course, we know from other studies that ™ (Transcendental Meditation) and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction methods also work. 

Even something as simple as working with your breath, using Andy Weil’s excellent CD, can have a good effect on your blood pressure. 

My suggestion would be for you to listen to the sound samples on our site and just experiment a little until you find something that really appeals to you, and then just stick with that until you get totally sick of it, and then switch to something else that suits you. Luckily, there’s a lot to choose from. 

All best and good luck,