Thursday 21 Aug 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

SimpleScience@Heart: Alternative therapies may help lower your blood pressure

Published: 3:00 pm CDT, April 22, 2013

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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