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Natural Ways of Reducing High Blood Pressure

Our breathing, the way we actually breathe from day to day, can have a powerful influence on our blood pressure. For example, when we breathe too fast for the conditions in which we find ourselves (what is sometimes called hyperventilation), or when we breathe through our mouth on a consistent basis and end up "overbreathing," we can lose too much carbon dioxide too quickly and the arteries and vessels can constrict and the red blood cells become sticky. This means that the heart has to work harder to attempt to get oxygen where it is needed in the brain and body. This can exacerbate or even cause high blood pressure in many people.

By undertaking a program of natural, authentic breathing to eliminate bad breathing habits and to ensure that the diaphragm can move freely through it full range of motion in coordination with appropriate effortless movement from the belly, back, ribs, and chest--one can have a positive impact on one's blood pressure. Chronic mouth breathing, breath holding, upper chest breathing, and other bad breathing habits can raise your blood pressure. Breathing in a slower, more natural, balanced, and complete way helps turn on your parasympathetic nervous system, your "relaxation response," which can often help  to reduce blood pressure that is too high. You can learn and practice many of the fundamental principles of natural, healthy breathing through the books The Tao of Natural Breathing and Free Your Breath, Free Your Life.

It is also important to lose any excess weight and to exercise daily. This will also help your breathing. Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day and swimming are excellent practices for those with mild to moderate hypertension. If you are undertaking a new exercise program, however, be sure to discuss it with your licensed health care professional before beginning.

Try RESPeRATE

In addition to undertaking an on-going program of natural breathing, a safe, powerful easy-to-use device that may also help you reduce your blood pressure is the FDA-cleared product called RESPeRATE. Used for just 15 minutes a day, a few days a week, this device can help slow your breathing down in a natural, effortless way, and has been clinically shown to help reduce blood pressure in many instances.  It is also very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. RESPeRATE automatically analyzes your individual breathing patterns and creates a personalized melody composed of two distinct inhale and exhale guiding tones. You simply listen to the melody through the headphones and effortlessly synchronize your breathing to the tones. By prolonging the exhalation tone, RESPeRATE guides you to slow your breathing and reach the "therapeutic zone" of less than 10 breaths a minute. RESPeRATE has been featured on multiple media channels such as NBC, CBS, FOX and ABC. Learn more about it, including quotations from MDs and recent research that has been done.

Natural Supplements that Can Help

Aside from the usual blood pressure medications, which often have undesirable side effects and don't work for everyone, there are a variety of safe supplements that can also often help your breathing and blood pressure. For instance, research has shown that ultra-refined fish oil can by itself reduce high blood pressure. Other supplements that can help are Perfusia (L-Arginine), L-Carnatine, magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10, as well as herbs such as Balance3 (www.balance3.com). Another important consideration is to be sure that you get enough potassium. A safe, simple way to help make this possible is to drink a (5.5 fluid ounces) can of low-sodium V8 juice at both breakfast and dinner. The ratio per can (Campbell's low-sodium V8 juice) of 570 mg of potassium to 80 mg of sodium is a healthy one according to Julian Whitaker M.D., and will, he says, help ensure that you get adequate potassium in a safe way. He also recommends the other supplements we've listed above.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have high blood pressure, you may also need to look at your "lifestyle." If you are in life conditions that constantly make you anxious, fearful, angry, irritated, and so on, you can be sure that these emotional states will constrict your breathing and influence your blood pressure in an adverse way. Likewise, if you overeat, drink, smoke, and get too little exercise, your breathing and blood pressure can also be adversely affected.  Depending on your heredity, conditioning, and level of awareness, you may be living in conditions and in such a way that no amount of better breathing and supplements or medications will help reduce your blood pressure. If you have tried everything else, and your high blood pressure persists, you may need to make some dramatic changes in your life, in what you do and how you do it--perhaps a new job will be necessary, perhaps changes in your living circumstances. If you are honest with yourself, you will know what needs to be changed. The best place to start is with your daily habits and your own attitudes toward yourself and the world.

It is also true that working in a serious way with your breathing can have a powerful influence on both your living habits and your attitudes toward yourself and others, which can also have a powerful influence your blood pressure. Your breathing connects all aspects of your life--physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. A healthy change in breathing--learning how to  breathe in a free, natural and harmonious way with your entire body--can bring with it healthy changes in many other areas of your life.

Caution: If you work with your breathing or undertake any of the other approaches discussed above and are already taking blood pressure medication, it is important to work closely with a licensed health care professional before reducing or discontinuing your medication.

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Last modified: February 14, 2014