Treating Hypertension: Medication or Meditation?

Hypertension is the most common disease in the United States. A shocking one out of three Americans has high blood pressure and another 30 percent have borderline high blood pressure.

For many, medication management to treat hypertension is the only option, others, however, are turning toward alternative methods to treat their condition, and the most popular and beneficial form of “natural” treatment is transcendental meditation.

Transcendental meditation (TM) is a technique, rooted in Eastern religion, aimed at controlling a person’s focus. For people with hypertension, TM can help ease tension, calm the mind, and most importantly, reduce stress, a significant factor that can cause hypertension.

The practice of TM involves the repetition of a word or phrase (known as a mantra) while being seated in a comfortable position, in a relaxed, peaceful environment. Most instructors suggest TM be practiced two times a day, for 20 minutes at a time to achieve physical and mental relaxation.

In 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a report “Beyond Medication and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure,” aimed to identify which approaches to manage hypertension have shown to be safe and effective. Among all the behavioral therapies, TM was found to be the most beneficial. While the AHA did acknowledge the advantages of TM, they also advised that alternative therapies should not replace other proven methods of controlling blood pressure, including weight management, physical activity, not smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular form for therapy for hypertension. Lowering blood pressure was the number one reason given by those polled as to why they started meditating. In fact, more and more physicians are encountering patients hesitant to take medication to control their hypertension, citing potential side effects of the medications.

To find out if meditation can help you control your high blood pressure, speak to your doctor, or make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Center at 718-718-657-7093 to find out more about meditation and other ways to mange your hypertension.



All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.