By Kennedy Shelley
Can you reduce your blood pressure without drugs simply by controlling your thinking and staying in the moment?
This was the hope of scientists who looked at the idea of trying to quantify just how much you can lower your blood pressure by using meditation.
It has been noted for a long time that the practice of certain meditation techniques can reduce tension, which tends to reduce blood pressure, but is it substantial and quantifiable?
Dr. Joel Hughes of Kent State published an article in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2013 which showed that mindful meditation did reduce blood pressure in prehypertensive patients which kept them from going on drugs for the rest of their life.
While mindfulness meditation is not a substitute for a good diet, exercise, and proper sleep, for those whose blood pressure is creeping up, this may slow down the progression according to this two-year study.
Traditional meditation is designed to “empty the mind” and trying not to think about anything. Mindful meditation is trying to get the mind to concentrate on what is going on with the body.
So, it’s becoming aware of tension in your back and then trying to coax yourself into letting it go by realizing it’s there and what caused it.
But this study was done with those who had not crossed the line and needed medication.
That was until November of 2019 when the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science) published the work of Dr. Eric Loucks of Brown University.
While most studies kept showing that there seems to be some reduction in blood pressure when people incorporated some meditative practice in their lives, the question was why and does it work as well as medication so that it can be used as legitimate therapy or would it remain “kind of a smart idea?”
This year long study of 43 people showed that significant reductions in blood pressure occurred when the participants engaged in active work to use mindful meditation techniques.
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition which is a significant risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, two of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Even with all the medications and everything we know about it; it still remains out of control in most people who have it.
Dr. Loucks said:
“We know enough about hypertension that we can theoretically control it in everybody — yet in about half of all people diagnosed, it is still out of control.”
So, of the study participants, we should expect that result with half, yet all of them showed marked reductions in blood pressure as well as other helpful changes in lifestyle.
This is good news for those with high blood pressure who need to get it under control.
None of the participants quit their medications, but they were able to keep their blood pressure more regulated and lower.
Nearly half of people with high blood pressure see their levels of medications go up.
Many start with one drug and keep getting more and more in an effort to bring their blood pressure down to normal levels.
The promise of this study is that incorporating the principles of mindfulness into the therapy program, fewer medicines are needed to bring control to a dangerous condition.
To learn more about the importance of meditation and blood pressure, see this article in Freedom Health News.