Mindfulness is increasingly practiced as a method to reduce stress through body and mind interactions. In some instances, mindfulness incorporates paced breathing defined as deep and diaphragmatic with slow levels typically about 5 to 7 per minute compared with the usual speed of 12 to 14.
Heart Association (AHA) states that over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is a major avoidable cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the USA and worldwide due primarily to increased risks of stroke and heart ailments. Elevated blood pressure is the most essential major and modifiable risk factor to reduce stroke. Actually, small but continuing reductions in blood pressure reduce risks of stroke and heart attacks. Therapeutic lifestyle changes of weight reduction and salt reduction in addition to adjunctive medication are beneficial to treat and protect against hypertension.
“One of the most plausible mechanisms is that paced breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system, which reduce stress chemicals in the brain and increase vascular relaxation that may lead to lowering of blood pressure,” said Suzanne LeBlang, M.D., a neuroradiologist, corresponding author, and an affiliate associate professor at FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
The investigators believe the hypothesis they’ve formulated that mindfulness with paced breathing reduces blood pressure ought to be tested. The first pilot trial would include getting informed consent from willing and eligible subjects and assigning them randomly to mindfulness either with or without paced breathing and analyzing whether there are sustained effects on reducing blood pressure.
“This pilot randomized trial might lead to further randomized trials of intermediate markers such as inhibition of progression of carotid intimal thickening or coronary artery atherosclerosis, and subsequently, a large scale trial to reduce stroke and heart attacks,” said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.PH, senior writer, original Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic adviser in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.PH, senior author, first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “Achieving sustained reductions in blood pressure of 4 to 5 millimeters of mercury decreases risk of stroke by 42 percent and heart attacks by about 17 percent; so positive findings would have important clinical and policy implications.”
Heart attacks and strokes, account for at least 800,000 deaths or 40 percent of total mortality in the U.S. each year and over 17 million deaths worldwide. In the U.S., CVD is projected to remain the single leading source of mortality and is now rapidly becoming so worldwide. Stroke alone ranks fifth in all-cause mortality in the U.S., murdering almost 133,000 people annually as well as more than 11 percentage of the populace worldwide.
“Now more than ever, Americans and people all over the world are under increased stress, which may adversely affect their health and well-being,” said Barbara Schmidt, co-author, teacher, researcher, philanthropist, bestselling author of “The Practice,” as well as an adjunct instructor at FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “We know that mindfulness decreases stress and I am cautiously optimistic that mindfulness with paced breathing will produce sustained lowering of blood pressure.”
“Today more than ever, Americans and People Around the world have been Under increased stress, which might adversely impact their health and Well-being,” explained Barbara Schmidt, co-author, teacher, researcher, Philanthropist, bestselling author of”The Practice,” as well as an “We know that Mindfulness reduces stress and I am cautiously optimistic that Mindfulness with paced breathing will create sustained lowering of Blood pressure.”
Related Journal Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306987719314355?via%3Dihub