Your blood pressure measurement gives insight into the health of your heart and circulatory system. We assess for both hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Blood pressure is a critical measurement that tells you how hard the heart is working. Blood pressure levels may be normal, high or low. High blood pressure or hypertension has been called the “silent killer” as it doesn’t present symptoms and can cause serious problems such as heart attack or stroke with little or no warning. What does your blood pressure reading mean?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries in the heart and is measured in millimetres of mercury. The heart pumps blood around the body through the arteries, by contracting and relaxing. The pressure of blood flowing through the arteries varies at different times in the heartbeat cycle. Hence, there are two numbers recorded during a blood pressure reading, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure refers to the measurement when the heart muscles are contracting, forcing blood out of the heart and around the body. The diastolic blood pressure is when the heart muscles are relaxed, and the chambers are filling with blood.
This can be applied to one’s psycho-mental and psycho-emotional state. The anxiety-sufferer is rarely relaxed, and we see this reflected in their diastolic pressures when compared to their systolic pressures. People living life by force will often have a raised systolic blood pressure. Research clearly demonstrates the correlation between the ‘driven’ and high achieving ‘type A’ personality and heart disease (for which high blood pressure is a major risk factor). It also demonstrates the association between anger and heart disease, either outwardly exhibiting anger traits regularly (hostility), or the suppression of anger. Anger results from the suppression of fear (we push our fear away and we get angry). Hence the real link between heart disease and emotion is likely fear, which is the foundation of anxiety – which we know affects blood pressure.