When it comes to lowering blood pressure naturally there are many lifestyle changes that can be made. For example, changing your diet, exercising regularly and reducing stress are all effective ways to lower your blood pressure. And now new research suggests another tactic that can help improve those numbers even more – it’s called transcendental meditation.
Transcendental meditation is sitting comfortably with your eyes closed for up to 20 minutes, twice daily, in order to achieve rest for the mind and body. The new findings suggest that transcendental meditation is effective in reducing blood pressure because it produces telomerase – an enzyme linked with blood pressure reduction and mortality.
Previous research reported the many benefits of meditation, from reducing stress to even easing stomach troubles. The new findings, led by Dr. Robert Schneider, worked to show the benefits of transcendental meditation on blood pressure.
Stress is a known factor for hypertension – high blood pressure – so reducing stress is a key factor in reducing blood pressure as well. Furthermore, hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is seen in higher prevalence among black-Americans.
For the study the researchers involved 48 black-Americans, all with high blood pressure. Half of the participants were taught transcendental meditation and the other half were educated on lifestyle changes that could help lower blood pressure – losing weight, exercising and eating well.
After 16 weeks both groups saw a significant reduction in blood pressure, as well as greater telomerase expression – an enzyme that helps elongate chromosomes, boosting telomere function.
Dr. Schneider said, “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. These findings are very encouraging for prevention. They show that both the transcendental meditation technique and active lifestyle modification can contribute to heart health.”
Further research to confirm findings will involve a control group and contain a greater amount of participants.
The research shows that not only are lifestyle changes beneficial to improving high blood pressure, but transcendental meditation could also be an effective way to help heal the body and chromosomes by producing more telomerase.
As mentioned, using meditation as a form of therapy to treat conditions has been long studied. Documented benefits of meditation include:
As you can see, meditation can help the mind and the body. If you’re interested in beginning meditation but are not sure where to start, you may opt to take a class, read a book, or purchase DVDs to help you until you can proceed on your own.