April 13, 2024

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The International Society of Hypertension advises meditation for lowering high blood pressure.

The International Society of Hypertension has issued new guidelines recommending that individuals strive for a daily meditation session lasting about 45 minutes as part of efforts to combat stress-related high blood pressure. These guidelines also advocate incorporating additional relaxation practices into one’s daily routine, such as listening to music, engaging in yoga, and practicing mindfulness. It’s important to note that traditional medical advice, such as quitting smoking and reducing salt intake, still holds its place in hypertension management. However, these fresh guidelines place emphasis on embracing a “body and mind” approach to lifestyle changes.

These recommendations are supported by scientific evidence indicating the effectiveness of less conventional methods in addressing hypertension. Professor Bryan Williams, a renowned UK blood pressure expert and one of the authors of the guidelines, acknowledges that these practices might not have the immediate impact of medications but asserts their substantial contribution to reducing cardiovascular stress.

High blood pressure stands as a leading cause of premature death, exerting strain on the heart and blood vessels, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Alarmingly, more than one billion people, equivalent to one in four adults across the globe, suffer from high blood pressure.

The panel of experts representing 18 countries put forward the following recommendations:

• Incorporate daily stress-reduction techniques into your routine, including meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and mindfulness.

• Cultivate a sense of gratitude by focusing on positive aspects of life and engaging in acts of kindness, enhancing overall well-being.

• Dedicate at least 25 minutes, three times a week, to the therapeutic influence of calming music.

• Maintain a commitment to regular physical activity and ensure you get an adequate amount of high-quality sleep, aiming for approximately seven hours.

Professor Williams underscores the significance of not only the duration but also the quality of sleep. He advises that most individuals should target seven hours of restful sleep to mitigate the adverse effects of stress due to insufficient or poor sleep.

These guidelines underscore the profound impact that stress management and positive lifestyle changes can exert on blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. By offering practical approaches to reducing the risk of hypertension-related health complications, they empower individuals to proactively safeguard their well-being.