Om My! Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure

Study shows daily time-out may reduce medication needs
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2008 7:05 PM CDT
Om My! Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure
Meditation can increase the production of nitric oxide, which in turn can lower blood pressure, a recent study shows.   (Index Stock)

An Om a day might just keep the blood pressure medication away, reports NPR. Daily meditation helped lower the blood pressure in two-thirds of patients in a recent study who were striking out on the medication front. Participants used the “relaxation response” technique, of sitting quietly for 15 minutes while repeating a word silently. Nitric oxide production increases, opening blood vessels wider and lowering blood pressure.

“You’re pushing the same amount of blood through a bigger pipe,” the lead doctor says. “And that’s what nitric oxide—which all of us make in our body—does in response to relaxation response.” But like anything requiring discipline, the technique's benefits could be short-lived. A year after the study, at least one success story admitted to slacking on his meditation. (More blood pressure stories.)

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