As the people interviewed were mostly identified through their GPs, the majority were following conventional methods of treatment. However, one recently diagnosed woman was using a combination of homeopathy and kinesiology to see if her blood pressure could be brought down without using drugs, and another was seriously considering stopping her medications.
Considers homeopathic treatment options.
Several people expressed mild interest in looking into the possibility of alternative approaches but claimed to have difficulty finding any reliable information on the subject. It was suggested that if more was known about alternative therapies some might be found that would at least complement conventional treatment. Expense was also an issue.
Considers whether it is worth trying to research out complementary treatment options.
Describes how he would consider complementary treatment as part of a full medical regime.
Relaxation methods were recommended but only some found benefits in meditation and Tai Chi.
Considers using relaxation tapes as a complementary treatment option.
Considers acupuncture as a complementary treatment option.
Describes relaxation as a complementary treatment option.
Describes Negung, a form of yoga, as a treatment for hypertension.
It seemed that feeling positive did help, such as with one interviewee who had counselling and considered it made a tremendous difference to her blood pressure.
Explains how counselling gave her relief, which in turn had an effect on her blood pressure.
Several West Indians interviewed had tried various infusions suggested by friends or family. No one suggested using them to replace the medication they were on, recognising that this could be dangerous, but as a supplement Aloe Vera was mentioned, as was ginger, which was believed to have a specific action in thinning the blood.
A possible reason for the relative lack of interest in alternative medicine for hypertension was the prevailing belief that the only way to really make a difference to blood pressure was to combat stress (for information on stress see our Information section), and for this other approaches were more relevant. (See ‘Changes to lifestyle’.)
There could also be an aversion to trying new things, and as one patient explained, since high blood pressure (hypertension) did not require treatment by very toxic drugs, there was no reason not to take them.
For more information on high blood pressure see our Resources and Information section.
Last reviewed December 2011.
Last updated January 2012.