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Meditation may lower blood pressure more than medication

Submitted by dave on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 6:48pm

From NBC News:

High blood pressure and hypertension are huge problems in this country.

Millions of people suffer from the condition which can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

Now, a study shows that a different type of program can help get blood pressure under control.

56-year-old Rosemary Palmer-Powell had been taking medication for high blood pressure for years, but after getting a routine check she started down a whole new treatment path.

"I've been doing [meditation] for a solid six months and it has really changed my life," she said.

Palmer-Powell was selected to be a part of a Howard University Hospital study on the effect of [meditation] for high blood pressure.

Experts believe that meditating for 20 minutes twice a day, helps to relax the brain and relieve stress, which can lower blood pressure.

"The meditation should decrease the stress that comes in through the brain into the vessels in the heart, slow the heart rate, cause the vessels to relax, to dilate and result in the blood pressure going down," explains cardiologist Dr. Otelio Randall.

Dr. Randall is leading the study.

His team is comparing blood pressure rates among two groups of patients, those who are meditating and those who aren't.

An instructor works with the meditation group once a week and then patients are required to do it on their own.

The study is ongoing, but patients are telling Dr. Randall they think the meditation is helping.

Rosemary Palmer-Powell has been meditating for the past six months.

She's still on medication, but the dosage is lower now.

"Eventually, you become calmer, you become less stressed, you can handle stressful situations more," she said.

If you have glaucoma or ocular hypertension, you may be surprised to find that (some forms of) meditation may increase intraocular pressure. This statement is based on original unpublished research by The team is in favor of meditation for the average glaucoma patient, and some of us have found methods that help us reduce our eye pressure, but this is not a case of "one size fits all". If you have glaucoma and you want to get the benefits of meditation, you should consult an expert. There are a variety of articles on the subject here on See this article for example: Stress and Eye Pressure - Solving The Equation

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