Hypertensive? How to Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally

(excerpted from TMforWomensHeartHealth.org)

Blood pressure is a measure of the force against the walls of your blood vessels as the heart pumps blood through the body. High blood pressure (hypertension) damages blood vessels, strains the heart, and is one of the most serious risks for cardiovascular disease. More than half of all deaths from stroke and almost half of all deaths from coronary heart disease are attributed to hypertension.

Scientists believe women are protected until menopause by estrogen. However, by age 65, hypertension in women has outpaced that of men. By age 75 almost 80% of women have high blood pressure. Women at this more vulnerable age are at higher risk of dying from hypertensive-related cardiovascular disease than men. Yet, hypertension is also a concern for teen girls and pregnant women.

Medication is commonly prescribed if your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, but lifestyle improvements in diet and behaviors are usually encouraged too.

Non-medicinal, non-dietary natural intervention

In 2013, the American Heart Association, after a thorough review of non-medicinal approaches, published a statement that the Transcendental Meditation technique is the only meditation practice that has been shown to significantly reduce high blood pressure and may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. The TM technique, done sitting comfortably anywhere twice daily, is easy to learn and effortless in practice. 

Many studies have been done on the Transcendental Meditation technique and hypertension, including several randomized controlled trials on African Americans—these are significant studies because this demographic has the most difficult time controlling hypertension. 

TM is the most effective stress-reduction program for reducing blood pressure

Reference: Rainforth, M. V., Schneider, R. H., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J. W., Anderson, J. W. (2007). Stress-reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports, 9 (6): 520-528.

Meta-analysis of TM and Blood Pressure Based on Nine Randomized Control Trials

Reference: Anderson, J. W., Liu, C., & Krysclo, R. J. Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Hypertension, 21(3), 310-316.

Dr. Cesar Molina has dual fellowships in Cardiology and Clinical Pharmacology from Stanford University Medical Center with special interests in preventive cardiology, stress reduction, exercise and cholesterol metabolism:

“…we need to remember that high blood pressure is, in fact, the most important risk factor for both stroke and coronary heart disease. Research studies have consistently demonstrated a drop in the blood pressure of people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique.”

A partial list of journals that have published research showing that TM practice reduces high blood pressure:

  1. American Journal of Hypertension 21(3) (2008): 310-6.
  2. Current Hypertension Reports 9 (2007): 520-52 [full article]
  3. American Journal of Hypertension 18(1) (2005): 88-9 [full article]
  4. American Journal of Cardiology 95 (2005):1060-106 [full article]
  5. American Journal of Hypertension 17 (2004): 366-369.
  6. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61, 88, (1999): 525-53
  7. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89, (1997): 464-476.
  8. Hypertension 28 (1996): 228-237. [full article]
  9. Hypertension 26 (1995): 820-82 [full article]
  10. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (1989): 950-96
  11. Psychosomatic Medicine 45 (1983): 41-46.
  12. Harefuah [Journal of the Israel Medical Association] 95(1) (1978): 1
  13. Psychosomatic Medicine 37 (1975): 86.
  14. Circulation 45 and 46 (1972): 516.

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