meditation and blood pressure

Many studies that show the positive effects meditation has on normalising blood pressure levels. In particular, hypertension is a big issue, with latest estimates showing that over 75 million people in the US have high blood pressure. That’s one in four people. And most people don’t know they have it. High blood pressure is something to pay attention to, as it is one of the highest ranked risk factors in developing heart disease and strokes.

Recently I had some feedback from a couple of students on this very topic that I’d like to share:

Blood pressure case 1 – a new, four-week meditator

A woman in her late 50’s came to us on the recommendation of her doctor (great to see doctors who are aware of the benefits of meditation). She is taking sleeping pills to get to sleep and has been for many years. She wants to get off these. A secondary goal was to get her blood pressure down. She has been taking quite high levels of medication and she wanted to address that in a natural way.

She took the course and on the very last day she asked. “When will my blood pressure come down?”

Hmmm, I thought – does she want me to give her an exact date and time??

Instead I put my teaching hat on and replied, “Studies show, that blood pressure normalizes very quickly and so you may notice positive changes in the coming months, and certainly within a year”.

I’m delighted to report that after four weeks of regular, twice a day meditation, her blood pressure medication levels have been reduced by her GP – twice!

Blood pressure case 2 – an experienced four-year meditator

Another of our long term, dedicated students came along to a group meditation recently and was updating us on her experiences. She had recently had her blood pressure taken while on a health-spa retreat with her mum. The doctor took her reading and then asked in a slightly incredulous tone, “Are you an athlete? We don’t see these kinds of levels in anyone but VERY fit sportspeople.” This is a mother in her forties whose exercise regime consists of a couple of yoga classes a week – oh, and twice daily meditation.

I’d love to hear of your experiences in relation to meditation and blood pressure.

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