SimpleScience@Heart: Alternative therapies may help lower your blood pressure
Alternative therapies may help reduce your blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.
An expert panel assessed three alternative remedy categories — exercise; behavioral therapies such as meditation; and devices or non-invasive procedures like acupuncture — and found that some can help people with blood pressure levels higher than 120/80 and those who don’t respond well to standard medications:
- Aerobic exercise, resistance or strength training and isometric hand grip exercises were most effective.
- Biofeedback, transcendental meditation and device-guided slow-breathing techniques provided some benefit.
- There’s not enough evidence to recommend acupuncture and yoga.
Alternative therapies should be an addition to — not a replacement for — proven methods to lower blood pressure, including engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity every week, managing weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet and taking medication.
High blood pressure — a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke — affects more than 26 percent of the people in the world and contributes to more than 13 percent of premature deaths.
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