Which alternative ways of lowering blood pressure work?

It’s a good thing to stop chugging medicines every time your blood pressure peaks, and seek alternative ways of treatment. But in the endless ocean of information on this topic it’s hard to determine which ways are helpful and which are pointless. Here we collected examples of popular techniques of lowering blood pressure, some of which really work and others – not so much:

1. Meditation

A number of studies suggest that different styles of meditation have positive effects on your blood pressure. It has been found that transcendental meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and Zen meditation may lower the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, relaxing your blood vessels.

2. Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a peculiar technique in which you’re connected to sensors that give you information about how your body is functioning. Biofeedback allows you to understand fluctuations that occur within your body and how you can control those changes, especially for relaxation. So what it has to do with blood pressure? Biofeedback can teach you how to slow your breathing and relax, which in turn may calm your blood pressure. But before you reach for your wallet, you should know that biofeedback devices are quite expensive, and most studies claiming their positive effects on blood pressure are sponsored by device manufacturers.

3. Tai Chi

Just as low-intensity cardio can reduce high blood pressure, tai chi can affect the pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels as blood circulates around the body. In a 26 published studies that were examining the effectiveness of tai chi for reducing high blood pressure, 85 percent of them showed a positive result.

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4. Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese tradition stimulates a flow of energy called chi, and research suggests that it may help lower blood pressure by calming the body and reducing inflammation. But it still remains debatable. Some studies have found benefits, whereas others say there is no correlation between acupuncture and blood pressure.

5. Massage

Everyone loves a good massage, but can it lower your blood pressure? Massages may reduce stress and in turn lower BP, but many studies do not research how massages affect BP in the long run. So should you use still treat yourself with this pleasurable treatment? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, as long as you don’t expect it to be a remedy for high blood pressure.

6. Laughter

While some studies suggest that laughter may lower blood pressure by a few points, it seems that laughter is no substitute for medications or other lifestyle changes. But that doesn’t mean that laughing can hurt! Laughing allows you to reduce stress and relax—so laugh away.

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