Symptoms of Stress - Elevated
Blood Pressure and Pulse Rate

Excerpt from Chapter 9 - Your Body

1. Blood Pressure. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. For those following primal therapy paths, blood pressure is much less than the population normal. I measured a few primal friends and found them to be on average about 15 mmHg lower than the population average and over half of them were in the optimum range, even though their age averaged 51 years. My own waking blood pressure averages 108/60, which is far less than the 140/85 one would expect for a 67-year-old.

Genuine gurus from India are also reported to have much lower than average blood pressure. Some rural tribes in Africa that have remained outside of the influences of modernization not only have low readings, but these readings do not rise dramatically with age as they do in the citified world.

Caution: Consult with your doctor about the meaning of your blood pressure measurements.

Yes, someone who practices biofeedback can artificially lower blood pressure (and therefore, symptoms of stress), but few faithfully practice biofeedback. Athletes too will average a somewhat lower blood pressure than average. If your spiritual system is truly relaxing and calming, then you and those following your spiritual path will generally have optimal blood pressure. It's obvious to me that many spiritual teachers, gurus, naguals, and shamans are filled with tension/stress and have high blood pressure. In short, higher-than-optimum blood pressure is an excellent indicator (not proof) of inner tension and stress, which is certainly not enlightenment. What about the leader(s) of your spiritual path?

There are many blood pressure tools out there. The available wrist and finger tools seem lacking in accuracy, so I recommend a digital readout and a cuff suited to your upper arm.

2. Heart Rate. The average adult human resting heart rate (heart rate = pulse rate) is about 72 beats per minute (bpm). The rates of athletes and genuine gurus tend to be in the range of 40-60 bpm.

When I measured some primal friends whose age averaged about 50, their average pulse rate was 65 bpm, an indicator of ongoing tension levels significantly lower than their average expected rate of 75 bpm. My own pulse rate when awakening is usually about 50 bpm; expected for my age would be nearly 80 bpm.

Caution: consult with your doctor about the meaning of your heart rate measurements. (High heart rates and high blood pressure indicate heart attacks, strokes and earlier death are more likely.)

Average or above-average heart rates are excellent indicators of overall inner tension and stress, which may be the norm for modern man and woman but it is a most unhealthy norm. Do you know the heart rates of your own body, of your spiritual brothers and sisters and of the leaders of your spiritual path? I doubt that any truly enlightened human has a resting heart rate above 60 bpm. The fakers have symptoms much inner tension and stress.

To measure heart rate, just take your pulse. Or, most digital blood pressure instruments will also measure heart rate.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


This Chapter
    Related Pages:
Stress & Elevated Blood Pressure
Healthy Blood Pressure Readings
Measuring Pulse Rate at Home
Healthy Heart/Pulse Rate Readings
Low Resting Blood Pressure = Inner Peacefulness?
Temporary Normal Heart Rate Readings = Not Necessarily Good
Spiritual Advancement and Elevated Heart Rate
Body Measurements/Readings and Peace of Mind

Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Just because I am presently one way does not imply that I will be or have to be that way this afternoon. Unfortunately, the possibility of change is usually not even considered by those voicing the phrase, "That is the way I am" and its close relative, 'That's the way we've always done it.'"