Millions of people suffer from high blood pressure, or hypertension which can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Medication can control it, but a new study at Howard University in Washington D.C. is looking at a very different option.
Researchers there are comparing blood pressure rates among two groups of patients, those who meditate for 20-minutes twice daily, and those who do not. The study is ongoing, but so far, doctors say this study is proving their theory.
Cardiologists Otelio Randall says, "The meditation should decrease the stress that comes in through the brain into the vessels in the heart, slow the heart rate, cause the vessels to relax, to dilate and result in the blood pressure going down."
"I've been doing transcendental meditation for a solid six months and it has really changed my life," says Kelli Jones a patient in the study. She goes on to say, "my blood pressure the last time it was taken was very good, it was in the low range."
An instructor works with the meditation group once a week and then patients are required to do it on their own twice a day every day after that. Even though they are only 16-weeks into the study, Dr. Randall says it is obvious that stress plays a role in blood pressure and reduced stress has its heart benefits.