Long believed to be a calming activity, a new study provides evidence of the benefits of mindfulness in reducing high blood pressure.
There is anecdotal evidence that meditation and mindfulness training may be able to reduce high blood pressure and hypertension. However, clinical confirmation of these claims has been scarce until last month, when researchers published a new study in the journal PLOS One.
The authors report the results of a Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program specifically designed to “evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms.”
Participants who enrolled in the MB-BP program experienced significant reductions in blood pressure levels that were still in effect at follow-up examinations 1 year after the trial.
Hypertension is a significant risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States and globally. However, doctors can find hypertension challenging to treat.
“We know enough about hypertension that we can theoretically control it in everybody — yet in about half of all people diagnosed, it is still out of control,” according to lead author Eric Loucks, associate professor of epidemiology, behavioral and social sciences, and medicine at Brown University in Providence, RI. MedicalNewsToday