Reduce High Blood Pressure With Meditation
By Sandy Schroeder
We live in stressful times and our bodies pay the price. One in three American adults have high blood pressure, and many do not even know they have it, because there are no symptoms.
If you don't know your blood pressure, you will want to check in with your doctor to find out. If you know and are now considering ways to keep it under control, Harvard Health suggests meditation as a good relaxation technique.
Meditation to calm the mind and lower blood pressure can create "restful alertness" or "thoughtful awareness," as stress eases. If you have already tried forms of meditation you may know how much it does for calmness and elimination of stress.
I have been using short meditations morning and evening and I have found they help me lessen tension and think more clearly. Instead of plunging into the daily schedule of work, deadlines and projects, I make the time before for breakfast to let a short meditation align my day. Much later, as the day winds down, I use another short meditation to ease tiredness and let go of worries to sleep better.
The American Heart Association has found meditation can modestly lower blood pressure. The findings were reported in the journal Hypertension.
Harvard professor Dr. Herbert Benson has created a brain quieting relaxation response to stress that draws from mindfulness meditation and transcendental meditation.
Focusing on ways to help individuals reduce stress with meditation, Dr. Benson found some seniors could use his technique to get away from medications as inflammation lessened and blood vessels widened. Along with daily exercise and a healthier diet, regular meditation helped the seniors lower their blood pressure.
It turns out that nitric oxide, a molecule made in the body that helps control blood pressure as it relaxes and widens blood vessels, is generated by people who used this relaxation response.
Here's How It Works
Use this relaxation response twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes
- Let your muscles relax and silently repeat a sound, word, phrase or short phrase of your choice over and over
- If distracting thoughts come up, simply let them go and continue to repeat your word, sound or phrase.
- As always, if blood pressure is a new issue or an ongoing question for you, start with your doctor to know where you stand, and develop the best course of treatment
As always, when you have questions about your blood pressure, start with your doctor to see where you stand and what the best treatment should be.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Colorado Springs, Colo.