In a guideline provided by the American Heart Association in 2013, meditation is “considered as a therapeutic strategy for (pre)hypertensive patients.” This statement is, of course, non-conclusive. Further research is recommended.

Effect of Meditation upon Arterial Blood Pressure: A Research

In a research led by Gasser, the team reviewed 113 publications that discuss the effects of meditation on blood pressure. The first thing that the research finds out was that “stress” has something to do with high blood pressure. Therefore, it could be logically inferred that any stress-reliever could lower blood pressure.

The team found that the studies conducted consider measuring the stress hormones, skin resistance, heart rate variability, and EEG of patients to know whether meditation really lowers blood pressure. Most of the patients handled stress well after implementing mediation in their daily routines. Furthermore, factors like decreased sympathetic tone and changes in hormone levels were found out to also lead to lowered blood pressure.

Not all studies were done great, and some have contradicting reports. Some studies have poor design models, and the number of experimental subjects wasn’t sufficient to comfortably come up with a solid conclusion.

All in all, the Gasser team concluded that meditation, as a sole treatment measure for pre-hypertensive or hypertensive individuals, couldn’t be proven “correct” at this point. However, meditation could be accepted as a secondary lifestyle recommendation, the likes like physical exercise, weight loss, and reduction of sodium absorption are categorized into.

The team’s conclusion means, infusing meditation on your lifestyle to reduce blood pressure is valid and even healthy. However, what they don’t recommend is that you look at meditation as a sole medicine, you’ll need to cure hypertension.

A study about how “Transcendental Meditation” could reduce blood pressure

There was another study published in the journal PLOS One that discusses how Transcendental Meditation can reduce blood pressure by increasing telomerase gene expression in people. Dr. Robert Schneider led this study from the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA.

In the study, the team first established that factors like stress, lifestyle, and telomere dysfunction contribute to high blood pressure. Telomeres are stretches of DNA that protect our genetic data. The dysfunction or shortening of telomeres is linked to a higher risk of mortality, aging, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

To have a human-based experiment, Dr. Schneider’s team recruited 48 black men and women with high blood pressure. All of which volunteered to be studied at Howard University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

The 48 individuals were divided into two groups. The first group infused the Transcendental Meditation on their lifestyle while the other half focused more on creating a healthy lifestyle for heart health reasons.

The result suggests that there is very little difference between the two groups. Both groups have reduced blood pressure and increased telomerase.

“The finding that telomerase gene expression is increased, and that this is associated with a reduction in blood pressure in a high-risk population, suggests that this may be a mechanism by which stress reduction improves cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Schneider.

Final thought

Both studies beat the same rhythm saying that incorporating meditation in your lifestyle can make positive changes in your blood pressure. However, meditation is quite useless in combating high blood pressure if you don’t change your whole lifestyle, and if you don’t take the medications that your doctors are prescribing.

If you experience positive effects by utilizing meditation, I dare say, keep it on. Also, try to add aromatic and calming agents like CBD oil, essential oil, scented candles, and the like to help you with your meditation exercises.

 

Reference:

1) Gasser, R. (2017). EFFECT OF MEDITATION UPON ARTERIAL BLOOD PRESSURE. Available at:
https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Abstract/2017/09002/_PP_25_05__EFFECT_OF_MEDITATION_UPON_ARTERIAL.888.aspx

2) Ellis, M. (2015). Can meditating reduce blood pressure? Available at:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303545