Quickest Way to Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication

How to lower your blood pressure now

The quickest way to lower blood pressure is simpler than you probably think. All you need to do is breathe… more…. slowly.

quickest way to lower blood pressure

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Yes, simply slow breathing is the quickest way to lower blood pressure naturally.

Yogis and alternative health practitioners have long maintained that slow regular breathing is good for the health. Medical researchers are now starting to agree. Many studies are now looking into how slow breathing can improve your health.

The evidence so far shows that slow breathing lowers blood pressure – and quickly. For example, in 2013 the American Heart Association reviewed all the studies so far into non-drug methods of lowering blood pressure. They found slow breathing was one of the most effective, and was the quickest way to lower blood pressure without medication.

In their own words,

Slow deep breathing, as practiced by meditation, yoga, and several relaxation techniques, has long been thought capable of favorably affecting BP. A short period of deep breathing (6 breaths in 30 seconds) has been shown to reduce systolic BP by 3.4 to 3.9 mm Hg within minutes in a clinic setting compared with quiet rest.

(Brooks et al, 2013)

 

How to do slow breathing to quickly lower blood pressure

As the quote above states, even slowing down your breathing for just a few minutes will start to lower your blood pressure. However, to get the maximum benefits of slow breathing, medical researchers recommend doing it for at least ten to fifteen minutes.

If you’ve ever tried focusing on your breathing, you’ll notice that the mind tends to wander… So to keep your breathing slow and regular you might find it helps to have some guidance.

The studies which have found the strongest effects of slow breathing lowering blood pressure were done using a device to guide participants in slow breathing. (Indeed, the studies done by the manufacturers of this device found strongest evidence for its effectiveness.) The device is called RESPeRATE. It has a band you strap around your chest which measures your breathing rate and a little electronic device which plays you musical tones which you breathe along to.

It is quite nifty and people say that they find it easy to regulate their breathing this way. All well and good. And if you have $300 (about £235 or €280) lying around, then it could be worth getting.

However, if you can’t or don’t want to buy the Resperate device, don’t worry. There are other excellent methods of doing guided slow breathing that don’t involve $300 machines!

 

Guided slow breathing tracks

quickest way to lower blood pressure without medication - guided slow breathingFor example, many people use guided slow breathing audio tracks. These have breathing prompts which you can breathe along in time with. Which makes it much easier to keep your breathing pace slow and steady. You can listen to some samples of our own guided slow breathing audio tracks here:

Breathe Slow guided slow breathing audio samples

Most of our guided slow breathing tracks have some background music, since listening to relaxing music can also lower blood pressure.

However, slow breathing with music lowers blood pressure more than listening to music alone.

One 2001 study directly compared musically-guided breathing exercises with listening to quiet music on a walkman (remember those?). People with high blood pressure did one or the other of these at home every day for eight weeks. And their blood pressure was measured at home several times throughout the day.

For those listening to the guided breathing exercises, their blood pressure was lowered by an average of f -5.0/-2.7 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic). This compared to an average reduction of -1.2/+0.9 mm Hg in those just listening to music. So the effect of doing guided slow breathing at home is comparable with blood pressure-lowering medications.

The researchers concluded that, “breathing exercise guided by the BIM [Breathe with Interactive Music] device for 10 min daily is an effective non-pharmacological modality to reduce BP.” (Grossman et al, 2001).

In other words, doing guided slow breathing in the comfort of your own home can lower your blood pressure quickly.

Wondering how? Read on.

 

Why slow breathing is the quickest way to lower blood presssure without medication

Slow breathing is likely to be particularly effective if your high blood pressure is caused by stress or anxiety. This is because deliberately breathing slowly has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. (More on this here: Breathing to reduce stress and blood pressure.)

However, even if these aren’t a factor in your high blood pressure, slow breathing can still lower your blood pressure within minutes. This is because breathing slowly reduces your heart rate. It also causes your blood vessels to relax and dilate. Both of these phenomena mean that your blood pressure is immediately reduced.

You can read more here in our article about how slow breathing lowers blood pressure.

 

Long-term effects of regularly doing guided slow breathing

In the short term, it’s clear that slow breathing is the quickest way to lower blood pressure without medications. And it can lower blood pressure to a similar extent as blood pressure-reducing medications.

However, it’s also possible that doing guided slow breathing regularly can lower your blood pressure more generally. There is some evidence which suggests that the effects of slow breathing can potentially persist throughout the day.  More research needs to be done to clarify and confirm this. However, it is still a good idea to do guided slow breathing most days.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, the more you practice slow breathing, the more slowly you’ll be able to breathe. And the more slowly you can breathe, the more deeply your body can relax and benefit. (Quick plug: this is why our guided slow breathing tracks range from 10 breaths per minute to 4 breaths per minute – so you can gradually train yourself to breathe slowly more slowly!)

The second reason is that the more you practice, the more readily you’ll be able to start breathing slowly when you need to. For example, if you suddenly find yourself in a stressful situation, slowing down your breathing will really help you keep a clear head and keep a lid on your stress levels. It will also counteract the rise in blood pressure that stress tends to cause. And if you’re used to slow breathing, it’ll be much easier for you to do!

 

Other health benefits of slow breathing

There are many other health benefits of slow breathing, beyond lowering blood pressure. It can help you sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, help with pain relief. The list goes on. You can read more about it here: Slow breathing health benefits

 

Breathe-Slow guided slow breathing audio tracks

As I’ve already mentioned, we have created audio tracks for you to do guided slow breathing. These are available to buy as a set of digital downloads.

There are five sets of tracks. Each set has breathing prompts for different breathing paces – 10, 8, 6, 5, and 4 breaths per minute. (Breathing in and out is counted as one breath.)

You can thus select a breathing pace that suits you and gradually work your way down to slower paces as you get used to it. Generally, the more slowly you breathe, the more deeply you relax, and the more profound the therapeutic benefits.

For each breathing pace, there are four different tracks. Three have different kinds of background music, since listening to music has also been shown to be beneficial for lowering stress and blood pressure. The fourth track just has the breathing prompts. This is in case you prefer to play your own music in the background, or you might just like to listen to the breathing prompts on their own.

With twenty tracks in total, you can always choose a track to suit your desired breathing rate and your musical mood 🙂

The entire Breathe Slow collection of guided slow breathing audio tracks is now available for $17 USD (about £13 or €15).

Click on the button below to get an immediate download and start using now.
buy breathe-slow slow breathing tracks

The Breathe-Slow audio tracks come with a 60 day no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your investment.

Note that this is a digital download ONLY. No CDs will be sent to you.

 

Quickest way to lower blood pressure: references and more information

American Heart Association: Slow Breathing Decreases Blood Pressure

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Breathing-control lowers blood pressure

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How Does Slow Breathing Lower Blood Pressure?

You might be wondering how does slow breathing lower blood pressure? Well it seems that scientists aren’t too sure exactly how slow breathing lowers blood pressure. But they are sure that it does.

how does slow breathing lower blood pressureThere have been many medical studies into the effects of slow breathing on blood pressure. In 2013, the American Heart Association did a review of these studies (along with studies into other non-drug approaches to lowering high blood pressure).

They concluded that the evidence showed that slow breathing definitely lowers blood pressure immediately. And practicing slow breathing regularly may also lower blood pressure in the long-term.

 

Lower blood pressure fast with slow breathing!

The American Heart Association found that even one short session of slow breathing reduces blood pressure by several points – more than just sitting quietly and resting. Sounds funny, but slow breathing can lower your blood pressure quickly!

Although none of the studies ran for longer than a couple of months, the evidence suggests that continuing to practice slow breathing can reduce blood pressure in the long-term as well.

To lower your blood pressure consistently, the studies show that you need to do at least 15 minutes of slow breathing 3 or 4 times a week. And doing it more frequently is likely to lower your blood pressure even more.

Most of the studies the American Heart Association looked at had used the ‘Resperate’ device to guide the slow breathing exercises. This monitors your breathing via a strap round your chest and uses musical tones to indicate when to breathe in and out. It’s the same principle as using audio tracks to guide your breathing – the key is to breathe at a steady and slower-than-usual rate.

 

So how does slow breathing lower blood pressure?

Slow breathing slows the heart rate and relaxes blood vessels

Slow breathing helps slow your heart rate and relax your blood vessels. This accounts for the immediate effect of slow breathing on reducing high blood pressure. How slow breathing lowers blood pressure in the long-term is still a bit of a mystery to scientists though.

Slow breathing balances the autonomic nervous system

According to the American Heart Association 2013 report, slow breathing may help balance the autonomic nervous system. (This is the part of the nervous system that controls how our internal organs function, affecting our heart rate, digestion, breathing etc.). It’s thought that imbalance in this system can be responsible for high blood pressure. And it’s thought that steady slow breathing can help balance it.

Breathing slowly might also affect how our blood vessels are functioning and responding (via the central nervous system).

Slow breathing reduces stress and blood pressure

Deliberate slow breathing is also shown to lower your stress levels, both immediately and in the long-term if you do it regularly. So if stress is even partially a cause of your high blood pressure (as it is for many people), then slow breathing will help lower your blood pressure through reducing your stress levels too.

Regularly practicing slow breathing can help you keep your stress levels down in general. And it can support you when you find yourself in a stressful situation as you’ll be better able to slow your breathing down in that moment. Which means you’ll be better able to stave off stress-related blood pressure spikes.

More on this here: Slow breathing to reduce stress and blood pressure

Slow breathing may improve sodium processing

How slow breathing lowers blood pressure another way is through the regulation of salt in our bodies. It’s well known that too much salt increases blood pressure. (See this article on our sister website: Salt and high blood pressure.) However, having too much salt in your body is not just a function of how much salt is in your food but also how your body deals with the salt.

According to preliminary research by David Anderson, a researcher with the National Institutes of Health in the US, it’s possible that slow deep breathing can improve the ability of your kidneys to expel sodium from your body. Or rather, slow breathing can correct the unhealthy shallow breathing we tend to do (especially when tense and stressed) which may be inhibiting the kidney’s ability to excrete sodium.

There don’t appear to be conclusive results on this hypothesis yet though so watch this space…

 

How slow breathing lowers blood pressure? It just does!

However it works, slow breathing is the fastest way to lower your blood pressure right now. And if you do it regularly, there’s a good chance you can bring your blood pressure down more consistently in the long-term too.

In the words of the American Heart Association:

Slow deep breathing, as practiced by meditation, yoga, and several relaxation techniques, has long been thought capable of favorably affecting BP. A short period of deep breathing (6 breaths in 30 seconds) has been shown to reduce systolic BP by 3.4 to 3.9 mm Hg within minutes in a clinic setting compared with quiet rest. Beyond the short term, it has been postulated that using deep-breathing techniques over weeks to months may additionally yield long-term reductions in BP.

It doesn’t so much matter how many breaths per minute you are doing. The key thing is that you are breathing steadily at a pace that is slower than usual. That way you’ll get the benefits of lower blood pressure, and of course general relaxation and stress reduction.

So there you have it. Take it easy and breathe your way to lower blood pressure. And a more relaxed life!

 

How to do slow breathing for maximum benefit

how does slow breathing lower blood pressure - guided slow breathingTo get the full benefits of slow breathing, it’s recommended that you do it for at least fifteen minutes a day.

Obviously you don’t need anything special to do slow breathing – just your lungs and your attention.

However, it can be tricky to sustain your breathing at a slow and regular pace if you’re not used to it.

To make it easier, you can listen to guided slow breathing tracks. These are tracks with breathing prompts which you can just breathe along in time to.

You can listen to samples of ours here: Breathe Slow audio samples

 

Do it the easy way: guided slow breathing to lower blood pressure

Our Breathe Slow collection consists of five sets of four tracks with breathing prompts for different breathing paces. The whole set is available to buy as digital downloads.

The fastest is 10 breaths per minute (that’s ten breaths in, ten breaths out). The others are 8, 6, 5, and 4 per minute. So you can gradually work your way down to slower breathing rates as you get more used to it. Generally, the more slowly you breathe, the deeper the relaxation you can access.

For each breathing pace there are four different tracks. Three of them have different types of background music so you can choose what you feel like listening to. Studies show listening to music can also help reduce stress and blood pressure. The fourth track is only the breathing prompts. So you can listen to them on their own or play your own music in the background.

The full set of tracks is available to buy for just $17 USD (about £13 or €15). You’ll get instant access to digital downloads of the tracks, so you can get started right away.

lower blood pressure naturally guideYou can buy the slow breathing tracks on their own. You can also buy them packaged with a copy of our book, Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide.

This is an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to lowering your blood pressure through changes in your diet, your activities and through relaxation techniques. There’s a lot more you can do than just slow breathing!

The book also contains loads of handy tips on how to easily integrate these changes into your daily life for maximum blood pressure reduction. Slow breathing may be the quickest way to lower blood pressure without medications but it’s well worth making other diet and lifestyle changes too.

Click on the button below to get an immediate download and start using now (you’ll be given the option to buy the audio tracks on their own, or with the book on lowering blood pressure).

 

buy breathe-slow slow breathing tracks

The Breathe-Slow audio tracks come with a 60 day no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your investment.

Note that this is a digital download ONLY. No CDs will be sent to you.

 

How does slow breathing lower blood pressure? References and more information

Brooks et al (2013). “Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association”. Hypertension

University Health News – Breathing Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

Harvard Heart Health Blog – Take a Deep Breath

NBC News – Dr Anderson’s research on salt and breathing

 

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