Could yoga, a mind-body practice that brings together stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation also be an effective, easy to learn treatment for high blood pressure? A study presented at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting found that yoga can help bring down blood pressure readings. High blood pressure (the “silent” killer) is a part of life for an estimated one billion people the world over, with almost one in three U.S. adults having the disease. Normal blood pressure readings are considered below 120/80.
Those who have mild high blood pressure might do well to consider alternatives to lifelong treatments with medications, and yoga is one such option. There are many styles, forms and different intensities, and people can benefit from any one of these. When it comes to yoga and blood pressure, Dr. Debbie Cohen of the University of Pennsylvania and a team has evaluated the effect yoga alone or yoga and diet had on these numbers for a group of 58 subjects, both men and women aged 38 to 62 years old.
The study subjects were broken into three groups, one was a supervised diet/weight loss and walking program, a second was a yoga practice in a studio two to three times a week for 24 weeks, and the third was a combination program made up of yoga and dietary intervention. The team saw that those who did yoga in a studio two or three times a week experienced a statistically significant drop in blood pressure, better than the diet only group. The diet only group did see a drop in blood pressure, but it was smaller than those in the yoga group.
The yoga group saw an average drop of three points for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, while the diet only group saw a drop of one point in both readings. Surprisingly those who followed the combination plan didn’t see a greater drop in blood pressure reading compared to those who were part of the yoga only group.
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Control Your Blood Pressure With Yoga Continued…
Beyond helping with blood pressure, yoga is also known to ease stress and improve
the function of your heart, probably due to the relaxation and mindfulness that’s
such a part of this practice. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine
(BUSM) have found that yoga might be superior to other forms of exercise because
of its positive impact on both mood and anxiety. It’s the first study to show
such an association.
Using other lifestyle modifications, with regular yoga practice, could have a very good effect on those who are coping with high blood pressure. It’s important to understand that blood pressure treatment needs to be specific to the patient, what works for some is not good for others. The best treatments take into account your body mass index and other lifestyle factors according to work from State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center.
One example of treatment challenges comes from obese patients who respond best to diuretic drugs as a treatment for hypertension, but these medications shouldn’t be used for the non obese who have high blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers, by contrast, work for either thin or fat people.
To your good health,