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Hypertension and Yoga

Sustainable Health

Continuing in my focus to find non-medical interventions for hypertension control, I found some interesting references to the use of yoga.

Hypertension is serious and my first recommendation to you is to see a medical doctor and get your condition under control using traditional medicine. Once your blood pressure reaches normal levels and stays there, then, while keeping your doctor informed, explore alternative methods if you wish.

Many papers and research studies exist on the subject, with varying outcomes, none of which appear to be detrimental to an individual’s hypertensive condition, which make them subjects worth exploring, in my opinion.

Patients of hypertension may benefit with a drop of 10 mm/Hg in systolic and 8 mm/Hg diastolic blood pressure [3], as per one source with others claiming ‘statistically significant reduction’ in blood pressure levels.

The techniques mentioned included yogic postures [1], breathing techniques [1, 3] and meditation [2, 3]. The Medi Yoga postures mentioned, practised for 15 minutes per session, twice a day, were as follows. If you plan to try them, remember to take the help of an experienced instructor, along with keeping your doctor advised.

  1. Left Nostril Breathing – 11 minutes – participants breathed deeply through their left nostrils, while keeping the right nostril blocked with their thumbs or a plug, while lying in bed or sitting upright on a chair. This appears to correspond to Chandra Bhedana, a yoga posture, which has been found to decrease heart rate and systolic blood pressure [4]. More information can be found here.
  2. Spinal Flex – 4 minutes – participants flexed their spines backwards and forwards alternatively, accompanied by deep breathing, while sitting on a chair or on the edge of a bed. This website appears to explain this though I suggest seeking expert advice.

The practice of yogic postures, breathing techniques and meditation appear to be helpful to hypertensive individuals. I suggest exploring the above postures with the help of an experienced practitioner.

References

  1. Yoga – a laborious way to well-being: patients’ experiences of yoga as a treatment for hypertension in primary care
  2. Blood Pressure Response to Meditation and Yoga: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
  3. The Efficacy and Safety of Yoga in Managing Hypertension.
  4. Immediate effect of chandra nadi pranayama (left unilateral forced nostril breathing) on cardiovascular parameters in hypertensive patients
  5. Kundalini Yoga
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  1. […] Chandra Bhedana (Yoga, left nostril breathing), 11 minutes […]

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