How to reduce blood pressure is a topic concerning a large percentage of the population, and I can honestly say that breathing can be of great importance in its treatment. Yes, I know breathing is a pretty important thing to be doing but what I am talking about is the importance of breathing correctly.
I am going to tell you a true story.
I first found out I had high blood pressure in 1974 when I went for a medical. In those days I was smoking and drinking heavily, and had a poor diet so it really was no big surprise.
When I gave up smoking some 20 years ago I may have felt better, but I certainly piled on the weight, which I have never been able to get rid of entirely.
For many years now I have been on medications to control my hypertension, but until recently these have not helped to improve things greatly. Following every visit to the doctors, I have had intentions of exercising more, and losing weight. OK for the first couple of weeks then things get back to normal.
Just over four weeks ago I went to my doctors for my six monthly check up and my blood pressure was higher than ever – 185/90. The doctor said I should increase my medication immediately. Now I do not like taking drugs in the first place and so I convinced my doctor to give me a four weeks reprieve. If I could improve things in this time then the medication would stay as it is.
So I went away, not having any idea of how I was going to get my blood pressure reduced. Of course I could climb on my exercise bike more often, cut out the beer and wine, and attempt to lose a significant amount of weight, but to make a significant improvement in four weeks would take some doing (plus the fact that I love my beer and wine!)
Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe exercise, diet, and maintaining a reasonable weight are extremely important, not only with regards to blood pressure, but for other health issues as well.
But I decided to do some research and find out if there was some other form of natural treatment for hypertension and I was shocked to find out that slowing down your breathing can greatly help in the control of high blood pressure. This fact was backed up by further research. Apparently slower breathing has a number of effects, one of which is a chemical effect which can have a significant effect on blood pressure. When stressed we tend to breathe quicker and more shallow, and sometimes even hold our breath without being aware of it. This will make our blood more acidic by unbalancing the levels of gases in our system. Following on from this, our kidneys become less efficient at getting rid of sodium, which in turn results in higher blood pressure.
There are, in fact, expensive devices on the market which train you to breathe slower – I’m sure you will have seen at least one of these that retails for about $300.
Basically, the aim is to spend 15 minutes a day of breathing exercises with a target of 6 breaths per minute. I am sure that this can be achieved with no help at all but personally I found a program that helped me not only to breath to this schedule, but also helped with relaxation as well.
Anyway, last week I returned to my doctors who was pleasantly surprised to see that my blood pressure had dropped to 138/78, so no increase in medication. I am actually hoping that if I can keep this up I will be able to reduce my medication.
I have also maintained a stricter exercise program, but I am certain that the breathing exercises have played a major part in this improvement.
For anyone suffering hypertension it’s definitely worth a try.