The problem: what causes hypertension?
During the stress response, a substance called vasopressin is released, which constricts the arteries and causes increased hydraulic pressure in our circulation of blood. This is accelerated by the faster beating heart that we also experience when stressed.
Often, this stress functioning becomes habituated, and so our resting heart rate and vaso-constriction levels are high enough to give us a permanent state of hypertension – or chronically elevated blood pressure.
This is the term to describe what happens when our systolic blood pressure reaches 140 or our diastolic reading reaches 90.
The pressure that this places on our hearts is significant – and is a candidate for the greatest single source of early death in our world today.
Unfortunately, only half of all those affected by hypertension know that they have it. Even in countries where diagnosis is reasonably high, less than half of those who do know they have the condition are adequately controlling it.
And most of those who are actively managing the situation are doing so using medications, which can have very harmful side effects.
Those practising the technique had a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 11 and 6 respectively. Those are big numbers. We don't get these kind of results all the time with medications.
Dr Mehmet Oz, heart surgeon, author & TV host
How does Vedic meditation help with reducing high blood pressure?
When we meditate, our stress levels fall significantly, and all the systems within the body begin to normalise, including our blood pressure.
The soothing qualities of the individually selected mantras bring such rest to mind, body and nervous system that we are able to break through the hyperactively aroused programming of our imbalanced autonomic nervous system.
As a result, our nervous system is able to begin to resetting to calmer, more natural resting levels.
It makes Vedic meditation a useful tool for lowering high blood pressure that is far better than having to resort to medications. Instead of there being negative side effects to treatment, the side effects of meditation are nothing but positive.
People with hypertension who have been meditating for longer than three months need, on average, 23% less blood pressure medication.
Robert Schneider, Director of the Institute of Natural Medicine & Prevention MUM
What's the proof that meditation helps with reducing high blood pressure?
When we practise Vedic meditation, our heart rate tends to fall by an average of five beats per minute, we release less vasopressin, and we experience dilation of our arteries, particularly in our peripheries. The net result for people with higher than normal average BP counts is that there are significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure counts.
There have been a number of studies on the effects of using meditation and relaxation techniques on this issue. It has been shown that meditation using personalised mantras is two and a half times more effective than muscle relaxation exercises for lowering high blood pressure, and is more effective still than education programmes on diet and lifestyle.
And once we begin this process of meditation, a virtuous cycle of arterial softening and lower blood pressure ensues – meaning we reduce the risks of all the related conditions that can blight our lives when our blood pressure readings are permanently high.
In addition, the constant sense of being on edge all the time and never truly being able to unwind is taken care of thanks to the harmonising effects of Vedic meditation on the nervous system.
For those with low blood pressure, you can be assured the effect is equally as powerful. It is a testament to just how intelligent the body is when it is allowed to rest and repair at a deep level. For while this meditation is renowned for lowering high blood pressure, if one has an issue with low blood pressure, you can be confident that by doing this practice your blood pressure will stabilise towards the normal range.
And for those not yet afflicted, the chances of you falling foul of this most prevalent of conditions will be greatly reduced.
A billion people around the globe are affected by high blood pressure, and we would be delighted to see those numbers come down with the help of healthy alternatives such as Vedic meditation. To our knowledge, this is the only technique that has been shown to deliver such consistently meaningful and clinically significant results in this area.