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Breathing exercises lowers blood pressure 'as effectively as medication', study finds

Meditation is a popular mindfulness practice in which the subject focuses on their breathing.

It’s a self-help technique that gurus and influencers swear by for controlling stress levels.

Now, experts have shown that mindful breathing exercises can physically lower blood pressure.

Just 30 deep breaths a day with an inhaler-like device has been shown to be as effective as medication.

The device creates resistance, causing the patient to use their respiratory muscles to push and suck air through it.

Scientists believe that having strong breathing muscles allows for deeper breathing without the device.

Taking deep breaths is thought to help dilate blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through them and lowering blood pressure.

But the researchers say it shouldn’t replace other healthy habits like exercise, which have benefits beyond just blood pressure.

Previous research has indicated that breathing exercises—often used during meditation mindfulness practices—can help prevent hypertension.

Meditation is a popular mindfulness practice in which the subject focuses on their breathing.

Meditation is a popular mindfulness practice in which the subject focuses on their breathing.

The POWERbreathe device strengthens the respiratory muscles of the user with each use.

The POWERbreathe device strengthens the respiratory muscles of the user with each use.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Arizona examined 128 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 82 for six weeks.

Participants used a $32 PowerBreathe device for about five to 10 minutes each day, taking 30 deep breaths.

Within two weeks, participants began to see improvements with very few side effects.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation in which you focus on intense awareness of what you are feeling and feeling in the moment.

The practice involves breathing methods, guided imagery and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

It is often touted as a universal tool for improving mental well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Mindfulness has become popular in recent years as a way to improve mental and physical well-being.

Celebrities who endorse it include Emma Watson, Davina McCall, Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey.

How can it lower blood pressure?

Taking deep breaths is thought to help dilate blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through them and lowering blood pressure.

Scientists believe that having strong respiratory muscles allows for deeper breathing, thus increasing the effectiveness of the practice.

But the researchers say it shouldn’t replace other healthy habits like exercise, which have benefits beyond just blood pressure.

At the end of the trial, the researchers saw an average drop of 9 mmHg in systolic blood pressure among the participants.

That’s on par with many commonly prescribed medications, previous studies suggest.

Older volunteers who had higher blood pressure at baseline saw the most noticeable decreases in blood pressure, but even younger subjects benefited.

“We would expect that if you go longer, the blood pressure will drop even more,” the study’s lead author, Professor Daniel Craighead, told Insider.

He added: “People whose blood pressure is at an unhealthy level could benefit from adding this to their routine now.”

The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is defined as 130 or more for the first digit, or 80 or more for the second digit.

Normal BP is 120/80 or less. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes.

People who smoke, don’t exercise or follow a healthy diet, or who are chronically stressed are at a much higher risk of developing high blood pressure.

About 116 million Americans and 12 million Britons suffer from high blood pressure.

Doctors have an arsenal of treatments designed to manage the disease.

The most common drugs used to treat high BP include diuretics, which cause the kidneys to excrete more sodium and water, reducing fluid volume throughout the body and widening blood vessels.

Doctors may also look for ACE inhibitors, which block production of the hormone angiotensin II, a compound in the blood that causes blood vessels to narrow and raise blood pressure.

Young female medical worker measuring elderly black man's blood pressure using cuff

Young female medical worker measuring elderly black man’s blood pressure using cuff

Oprah Winfrey, September 21, 2022.

Sir Paul McCartney, September 7, 2022.

Celebrities have taken up mindfulness meditation practices to deal with stress.

Deep breathing is a key principle of mindfulness, or the practice of being present with your emotions without needing to react to them.

It often incorporates simple yoga along with mindfulness meditation and body scanning, a technique in which a person pays attention to their body and its sensations in a gradual sequence from head to toe.

The term “mindfulness” has become a catch-all in some circles for any activity that promotes self-improvement.

Many celebrities have become proponents of mindful breathing and meditation, such as Oprah Winfrey, singer Katy Perry, and musician Paul McCartney.

The practice of mindfulness is on the rise, particularly in the United States, with some studies estimating that 5.7 million Americans have tried it at least once.

The true figure could be much higher. Forty percent of Americans meditate at least once a week, according to Pew Research.

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