For over 60 years researchers have been finding that under certain conditions meditation can reduce high blood pressure/hypertension.
Most people who are diagnosed with hypertension are prescribed medication. There is a high risk of stroke and hear disease (the US top 3rd and 1st killers – cancer being the 2nd) with high blood pressure, so doctors are quick to prescribe these drugs to save their patient’s lives. I am all for science and saving people’s lives! So I am not saying do away with prescription drugs for high blood pressure entirely. (And if you are on medications please consult your doctor about any questions you have regarding meditation and high blood pressure.)
I had heard that meditation can also lower high blood pressure, and when I went to do the research there was a VAST amount of information available about it!
In an article published in 2014 by the American Heart Association Richard A. Stein, professor of medicine and director of the exercise and nutrition program at New York University’s Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease talks about his findings of meditation lowering high blood pressure and lowered overall risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In his view any meditation will do, but that is not what I found across the board when doing my own research. Many articles that I reviewed showed that one type of meditation in particular showed a clear correlation to lower blood pressure.
In a WebMD article written by Carol Sorgen and reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD clearly states that meditation can, “[trigger] the body’s own self-repair mechanism.” And sites several sources showing that meditation can indeed lower hypertension.
But not just any type of meditation.
Robert Schneider, MD researched over 600 studies over the past 30 years and found that only Transcendental Meditation (TM) showed a clear impact on lowering hypertension.
Studies have repeatedly shown it to be effective in easing stress, one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Though there are many kinds of meditative techniques, it is only TM, says Schneider, that has been studied and been proved to be effective in improving a range of risk factors for heart disease.
Transcendental Meditation is a type of meditation where your focus is brought inward for 20-30 minutes and a sound or mantra is repeated for the duration of the meditation. You can think here of the classic “Om” chant as people sit cross legged with their eyes closed. The chant or sound can be anything you wish. One word that represents an intention you have for that day or even just repeating the word, “Relax,” to yourself will work. 🙂
An article published by renowned medical journal The Lancet said this:
Subjects learned transcendental meditation (T.M.), were seen weekly, and took their own blood pressure several times daily. After 12 weeks of T.M. six subjects showed psychological changes and reduced anxiety scores. Six subjects also showed significant reductions in home and four in clinic blood-pressures. Six months later four subjects continued to derive psychological benefit and two showed significant blood-pressure reductions attributable to T.M. at home and clinic.
An article in the American Journal of Hypertension give us some numbers we can work with:
…indicated that Transcendental Meditation, compared to control, was associated with the following changes: −4.7 mm Hg (95% confidence interval (CI), −7.4 to −1.9 mm Hg) and −3.2 mm Hg (95% CI, −5.4 to −1.3 mm Hg). Subgroup analyses of hypertensive groups and high-quality studies showed similar reductions.
Conclusions The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation may have the potential to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ∼4.7 and 3.2 mm Hg, respectively. These are clinically meaningful changes.
Incorporating a meditation practice into your life can benefit you in many amazing ways. It can give you more peace and balance in your life, it can open you to receiving insight from your higher power, and in fact – it can lower your blood pressure! And the best type of meditation according to the research is Transcendental Meditation.
Here is some excellent music to get your meditation practice started or enhance your meditation practice Click to check it out:
Please leave your comments below. 🙂