Study finds yoga has positive impact on blood pressure and hypertensives’ life quality.
Medical treatment of hypertension is not always enough to achieve blood pressure control. Nevertheless, there are relatively few studies on supplementary therapies, such as yoga.
This led a group of researchers to investigate the effects of two yoga interventions on blood pressure and quality of life in patients in primary health care diagnosed with hypertension.
The study, published in the latest BMC Cardiovascular Disorders journal, involved 83 patients aged 20-80 years at a primary health care center. Their blood pressure values were 120-179/<=109 mmHg at baseline. At baseline, a majority of the patients (92 percent) were also on antihypertensive medication, and were requested not to change their medication during the study.All the patients underwent standardized blood pressure measurement at the health care center and completed a questionnaire on self-rated quality of life. There were three groups ― 1) yoga class with yoga instructor (28 participants); 2) yoga at home (28 participants); and 3) a control group (27 participants). The participants were matched at the group level for systolic blood pressure. After 12 weeks of intervention, the assessments were performed again.The yoga class group showed no improvement in blood pressure or self-rated quality of life, while in the yoga at home group there was a decline in diastolic blood pressure of 4.4 mmHg compared to the control group. Moreover, the yoga at home group showed significant improvement in self-rated quality of life compared to the control group.The researchers concluded that “a short yoga program for the patient to practice at home seems to have an antihypertensive effect, as well as a positive effect on self-rated quality of life compared to controls. This implies that simple yoga exercises may be useful as a supplementary blood pressure therapy in addition to medical treatment when prescribed by primary care physicians.”Another study of the effects of mindfulness meditation on hypertension, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, found no effect on people with slightly high blood pressure who were not taking anti-hypertensive medication.However, other studies have found that techniques such as Tai Chi and Transcendental Meditation do affect hypertension. A report published by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that Zen Buddhist meditation and Qi Gong for example, significantly reduced blood pressure.If people with high blood pressure are seeking a natural way to deal with their condition, they might try RESPeRATE — the first medical device that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure. Like yoga and other techniques, RESPeRATE is also a treatment for stress, which in itself can lead to high blood pressure.