High blood pressure or hypertension means high pressure in the arteries which are responsible to carry blood from the pumping heart to all the organs and tissues in the body. Hypertension can put us in the risk of not only heart diseases but can also adversely affect other systems of our body.
Along with proper medication, regulated diet and exercise, relaxation techniques like mindfulness can be really effective in lowering blood pressure naturally.
Regular mindfulness affects the activity of autonomous nervous system, which regulates blood pressure, calms the activity in the sympathetic nervous system that is known to narrow the blood vessels in response to stress and lastly, increases activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is considered to promote widening of blood vessels.
The relaxed state resulting with mindfulness makes the body require less oxygen, depending on the experience of the meditator and the type of meditation. The reduced need for oxygen allows the heart to beat fewer beats, approximately 10 per cent less, allowing the blood pressure to go down.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, USA, post its studies found out that meditation is one of the best natural ways to bring down blood pressure.
In a meta-analysis conducted in 2008 at the University of Kentucky, Transcendental Meditation has been found to be an effective treatment for controlling high blood pressure with the added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs. The meta-analysis evaluated nine randomised, controlled trials using transcendental meditation as a key intervention for hypertensive patients.
The practice of Transcendental Meditation was associated with approximate reductions of 4.7 mm systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm diastolic blood pressure.
Another study reported in ‘Hypertension’ on the effects of mindfulness on hypertension found that systolic blood pressure could drop by more than 10 points and that the diastolic blood pressure by over 6 points in patients who were using it as a treatment for hypertension.
More than 120 studies conducted on the effects of mindfulness meditation on blood pressure show that regular meditation can lower both systolic and diastolic pressure on an average of 3 to 10 mm.