High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects millions of people in the United States alone, and it is particularly prevalent among older individuals. High blood pressure is closely tied to cardiovascular diseases and is one of the primary contributors to a heart attack or stroke.
While medication is often used to treat high blood pressure, there are also other ways to help keep it in check and one of them is meditation. Stress is a common factor in high blood pressure and by calming the body and mind via meditation, the body’s relaxation response is triggered.
There are multiple ways to go about meditating. You may wish to concentrate on a word or repeat a phrase that has some personal uplifting meaning to you while focusing on your breathing. The toughest part is preventing everyday thoughts from interrupting your meditation. Once the body’s relaxation response is triggered, the body undergoes biochemical changes such as reducing its reliance on consuming oxygen, dialing down heart and breathing rate, and also kicking down blood pressure a few notches.
A study involving nearly sixty individuals with Stage 1 hypertension attended a series of meditation sessions aimed at activating the body’s relaxation response. Among the participants that completed the program, thirteen of them were able to reduce their blood pressure and were no longer diagnosed as Stage 1 hypertension patients.
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