The benefits of meditation for blood pressure have been scientifically proven time and again. By taking just twenty minutes a day to meditate you will balance your blood pressure and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s so hard not to get stressed today. What with rent or mortgage, work, and the constant sense of competition. It’s as though modern society has been specifically created to make us stressed out. And of course stress is extremely bad for us. In fact stress is now regarded as the number one killer. Stress leads to so many health complications: hypertension, depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes… the list goes on.
Stress creates adrenaline in the body. Back in the time of cavemen that adrenaline was vital because it enabled us to run away from predators. It did that by causing breathing to quicken and blood pressure and heartbeat to rise. But today those symptoms are conducive to heart disease. Stress is no longer helpful.
We all need a way to combat stress. That’s why the CEO of one major corporation recently introduced meditation classes at their business. And it’s why you too probably need to meditate.
“Think of meditation as a 20 minute holiday from stress,” says Richard A.Stein of New York University’s Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. “Meditation is a way of allowing you to come to balance in your life. “It helps you sleep better too, and that’s a vital restorative part of physical health.”
Recent scientific research has shown promising results about the effect of meditation for blood pressure. In 2012 a group of African-Americans with heart disease were taught Transcendental Meditation. The results showed that the meditation practice reduced their risk of death by heart attack and stroke by 48 percent.
Transcendental Meditation technique is a specific type of meditation created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and used by many famous people including The Beatles and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Transcendental Meditation Technique uses a specific and personal mantra (a sacred word) which the individual then recites. You can discover everything you need to know about this technique in our Guide To Transcendental Meditation.
Another powerful meditation for blood pressure and heart disease is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
The affects of mindfulness on blood pressure was proven in research published in the October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.
Joel W Hughes PhD of Kent State University says, “Our results provide evidence that MBSR, when added to lifestyle modification advice, may be an appropriate complementary treatment for BP in the prehypertensive range.”
In the study 56 men and women diagnosed with prehypertension—blood pressure which is higher than usual but for which no antihypertensive drugs have yet been prescribed—were divided into two groups. One group practiced Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for 2.5 hours a week. The other group used a muscle-relaxation technique and lifestyle changes. Researchers then took the blood pressures of members of each group. The results showed that those participants who had practiced mindfulness had significant reductions in blood pressure decreased by an average of nearly 5 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), compared to less than 1 mm Hg in the control group).
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a different technique to Transcendental Meditation. Where TM uses a mantra, MBSR involves mindful observation of the individuals thoughts and feelings. Unlike Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction can also be learned for free. If you would like to try this meditation technique to lower your blood pressure, then please read the Guide To Mindfulness that I have created for you.
These are two of the best meditation techniques, but there are many more. “It’s important to find an approach that you feel comfortable with,” says Dr. Stein. “Maybe it’s just listening to your favorite music while you walk at a moderate pace.”
Speaking of walking, another fantastic meditation technique for blood pressure is Zen Walking. Walking has been shown to be one of the best ways to have a healthy heart. Research conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that walking is as effective as running at lowering your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
I attempted to find specific research into the affects of Zen walking meditation, as opposed to simply walking and meditation (as separate activities). However, it seems that science has yet to investigate this type of meditation for blood pressure.
However, given that we have proof that both meditation and walking are, individually, excellent techniques for balancing blood pressure, it seems only logical that Zen Walking Meditation, a technique combines the two activities, should be perfect. Again, this is unproven and simply based n logic so take this with a pinch of salt. But I would suggest that you take a look at my guide to Zen Walking Meditation and ask your healthcare provider whether this is ideal for you.
There are many other movement-based stress reduction techniques that are also fantastic ways of lowering blood pressure. Much scientific research has advocated the use of Tai Chi, for instance. And QiGong is a similar practice, as is Yoga.
Meditation is definitely a powerful way of balancing blood pressure. Dr Stein does point out, however, that it is important not to use meditation as a replacement to your other lifestyle considerations, but as an addition. “Meditation should be an adjunct to prescribed medications and dietary and exercise programs, not a replacement,” Dr. Stein said.
What’s most important about using meditation for high blood pressure is that you find a meditation technique that works for you.
There’s something of a blessing and a curse here, because the truth is that there are a heck of a lot of meditation techniques. Over my time as a meditation teacher I’ve used Hindu meditations, Buddhist meditations, Christian meditations, non-religious meditations, mindfulness-based stress reduction, Zen, breathing meditations, mantras… it goes on.
Now on the one hand that’s great. I can virtually guarantee that at least one meditation technique will be perfect for you. But on the other hand, it can be hard to find the right meditation technique for you without a bit of help.
That’s why I wrote my new book Welcome To Silence: A Practical Guide To Mindfulness And Meditation. In the book I provide easy-to-follow guidance to every meditation meditation technique. Let me help you find the perfect meditation technique for you. Read my new book today.