Monday, August 25, 2008

Ho'oponopono and your health: is enlightenment right for you?

People with high blood pressure (hypertension) often struggle with medications, side effects, and stress. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were something people could do to help themselves with this, besides take pills?

There is. In fact, there are many ways.

For instance, stress reduction programs such as meditation have a growing research base documenting improvements in both hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Rainforth et al recently published a review and meta-analysis of this work * In this review, transcendental meditation showed particularly positive results.

Additionally, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has more than 2 decades of research in stress-related illness. People take an 8-week course to learn to appreciate and modulate their inner responses, relating directly to whatever is happening in their lives. The same skills can help people with hypertension, chronic pain, anxiety, angina, bowel complaints, psoriasis, and many other conditions.

Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono, a spiritual intervention developed in Hawaii to identify and relieve stress, has also been shown effective in helping hypertensive people reduce their blood pressure. Kikikipa Kretzer PhD et al documented this through a pilot study published in Ethnicity and Disease Journal, "Self identity through ho'oponopono as adjunctive therapy for hypertension management".**

Earlier this year, I wrote a brief article about Ho'oponopono and hypertension as well. The word "Ho'oponopono" means "to correct errors -- memories replaying problems -- in the conscious and subconscious minds." Kretzer et al's study compared groups of people taking medications only with those both using medications and attending Ho'oponopono classes. Systolic BP in the latter group averaged almost 12 mm Hg below pre-intervention levels. Diastolic BP decreased also.

It's beautiful that people can learn a simple process to deal so effectively with problems on a moment-to-moment basis -- and that effects can be measured in our blood vessels. I'm thinking maybe heart rate variability might be an interesting measure as well. People love looking at the results of their efforts in charts and graphs -- every little bit helps!

Dr. Kretzer and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len offered classes in Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono for hypertensive people this past February, through University of Hawaii at Manoa. Well-attended both "live" and via distance education on Kauai and the Big Island (in Hilo and West Hawaii), the classes shared information from the study and also trained participants to use the process for themselves.

Interested in how Ho'oponopono classes might help you with your own health? University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Saturday 9/27/08 will be your next opportunity to learn this information from Drs. Kretzer and Hew Len. Class runs from 9:30 - 4:30 pm, with lunch served; Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the venue. For further information, you're welcome to contact Dr. Kretzer at kkretzer@uccs.edu or 719-262-4095.

Word is getting out: people really can help themselves with simple interventions like this. And that will help your doctor's blood pressure go down too. :-)

*Rainforth MV et al: Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Curr Hypertens Rep 2007 December; 9(6):520-528.

**Kretzer K et al. Self Identity Ho'oponopono as adjunctive therapy for hypertension management. Ethnicity and Disease Journal. 2007;17(4):624-628.

No comments: