High blood pressure is known to be the most common killer disease nowadays. An approximate 7.1 million deaths per year are associated with this disease affecting both adults and even youngsters in their 20s. Lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet plan, weight reduction, increase in physical activity, lower alcohol consumption, and medication regimens are some of the techniques to lower BPs.
However, some patients find it troublesome to take medications because sometimes it produces side effects such as headaches, insomnia, dryness of the mouth, and many more. Aside from that, adhering to your intake of anti-hypertensive medicines can be poor, which might fail to lower the BP. For this reason, patients usually opt for non-pharmacology methods to solve this problem. Among these approaches is one of the increasingly popular techniques, meditation. Whether used alone or in combination with other remedies, you will find in this article the answer to the question – will meditation lower blood pressure?
How meditation helps lower blood pressure
So will meditation lower blood pressure? The answer to that is yes. For many years, several studies have shown that there are a lot of factors that contribute to the increase in blood pressure. Risk factors range from family history, lifestyle, stress, and age. It’s common knowledge to most people how stress, anger or extreme emotions, and lack of sleep can trigger blood tension regardless of how physically fit you are. Because of that, it was long believed that calming the mind and body to ease stress can help lower BPs. But how will meditation help lower blood pressure?
Well, scientists have continuously uncovered the method of mindfulness. Mindfulness or meditation is a practice that promotes relaxation and has been found to have a small yet substantial contribution in keeping BPs on its average, while blood pressure is understood as the measurement of the force exerted against the walls of your vessels that can be elevated due to certain risk factors. With that, this technique aids in boosting the body’s defense against stroke, heart, and other chronic diseases.
Despite such findings, studies still lack good-quality evidence to strengthen their research. Generally, it’s not directly associated with the treatment of such a disease. However, the practice of the technique is somehow connected with better sleep, lesser stress, and a calmer nervous system that regulates the body’s blood pressure. It also includes the mediation of nitric oxide in the parasympathetic nervous system, who’s responsible for relaxing and widening blood vessels that keep everything under control.
Above all these reasons, a change in behavior due to this practice is the most accurate way to answer such a question. Usually, if you’re being diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor may recommend changing your lifestyle habits such as eating healthy meals, reducing salt intake, regular exercise, and weight loss. These changes are complex for most people to maintain. Additionally, if hypertension has a genetic component, it will be difficult to lower it down. However, with significant healthful lifestyle changes, you may be able to avoid what triggers hypertension. When practicing mindfulness, people are given a sense of strength and discipline with their habits which can keep everything under control. The lesser patients engage in non-healthy habits, the lower their chances of increasing BP.
What types of meditation can lower blood pressure
Meditation appears to have so many benefits for the mind and body. Many researchers have proven how this complimentary training for diagnosed patients provides significant changes in their breathing, stress management, and better behavioral change, which in return keeps blood pressure under control. There are various ways to meditate. Many modified techniques have been globally developed and used by many people. Since we’ve discussed the answer to will meditation lower blood pressure, below are some of the methods you can practice to lower BPs.
A simple mindfulness meditation practice, which helps anchor attention on the breath and lower your heart rate, is an effective type of meditation practice to help lower blood pressure.
Try this practice below from our guided meditation app which contains plenty of practices to help you calm the body and still the mind.
This is a technique that puts practitioners in a state of deep inner silence in a way that even those who don’t know how to meditate can do it. Many doctors performed extensive studies to prove its efficacy as a therapy for high BP. Other than that, studies also show a substantial decrease in cardiovascular and cancer-related mortality upon practicing TM. For about 15-20 minutes a day, you may sit in a comfortable position while repeatedly uttering a single mantra to promote a relaxed awareness. The mantra is not just a simple phrase you can recite. Certified instructors teach the mantra to make it more effective. However, it was upheld by the Court that this technique is “religious in nature”; therefore, it can only be taken privately and not taught in public schools.
Furthermore, it’s considered to be twice as effective as Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), yet no specific method has been proven beneficial. As we talk about blood vessels and such, some people may think that muscle relaxation techniques are the key to improving blood pressure. Such techniques were thought to reduce stress, anxiety, and any physiological problems in the autonomic nervous system, thereby reducing BPs as well. In a 2021 study, it was found that TM showed significant declines in systolic and diastolic BPs in both men and women within three months.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSRP)
This is a practice of openness, being present in the moment, and accepting current experiences rather than worrying about the past or future. It’s an intensive eight 2.5 hour weekly training that uses a combination of body awareness, yoga, a conversation about stress, and observation of the patterns of thinking, behavior, actions, and feelings. It provides practitioners a sense of observation of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without any judgments. Activities such as body scan exercise, sitting meditation, and homework assignments done for 45 minutes a day within six days per week are given as well. Often, this includes creating soft sounds like “Om,” which was seen to have after-effects with the body vibration it produces. Over the years, MBSRP has gone through many clinical trials as these benefits not only mental health aspects but also as a complementary remedy for cancer, hypertension, and other diseases.
Is meditation an alternative to anti-hypertensive medications?
We know that the answer to “will meditation lower blood pressure?” is yes, but is it an alternative to medication? To this day, doctors and other specialists are yet to prove how this helps lower elevated BPs. Although meaningful results are presented, there is still a lack of evidence in their research. Unfortunately, it’s not yet proven to keep blood pressure in check. That is why it’s recommended to use this as a complementary remedy combined with other anti-hypertensive methods. It’s still better to consult and follow a doctor’s advice and keep a healthy lifestyle to keep your blood tension in a normal range.
How long should you meditate to lower blood pressure?
There is no exact science as to how long you should meditate. People are shaped differently, and the impact of meditation differs from one another. For example, some studies suggest that a minimum of 10 to 30 minutes a day can create a significant difference for you as long as you do it correctly. If you’re new to the technique, you can try starting at 5 minutes and eventually raise the duration to 15 to 20 minutes; longer than that is even better.
What is the ideal time to meditate to lower blood pressure?
Some may be wondering if it would make a difference if you practice meditation at any time of the day. Usually, it’s suggested to practice before sunrise because your mind is mostly clear due to sleep, a lesser opportunity for stressors to affect you, and does not keep in the way of work. Regardless of what was recommended, experts say that any time is an excellent time to meditate. The most important thing is to find a time that works best for you to get the benefits out of this practice more than it being bothersome.
How to meditate to lower blood pressure
Whatever technique you use to treat any disease, a solid foundation is necessary. When we say meditation, peace, relaxation, and less stress are what come immediately to mind. For best results, follow these few tips to help you start an incredible journey to lower BPs.
1. Meditate in a peaceful environment
As mentioned, stress is a contributing factor in elevated blood tensions. That is why practicing meditation includes doing it in a quiet area, to help lower blood pressure. Otherwise, it will not take place and will not benefit you. So do this, especially if you’re a beginner who finds it difficult to focus on doing the activity. Stay away from your laptop or computer, then turn off your electronic devices that send notifications.
2. Maintain a slow, steady pace and posture
Proper posture is essential in this practice. You should be comfortable in your position, whatever place you are in. Sitting straight up will make you focus your energy directly up to your spine. Maintain this until you get the results you want to achieve. Do not skip steps and add time as you go on with the method.
3. Use a guide to help you meditate
As there are many ways of meditating, and meditation can be unusual at first, it’s best to use a guide initially. They can guide you according to your needs. This will help you do the technique in the right way and will also provide data for your improvements. We recommend trying out our guided meditation app, Declutter The Mind. You can download our app on iOS and Android, and practice meditation wherever you are.