If you currently have high blood pressure, or are right on the borderline, there’s a good chance your doctor will pull out their prescription pad—if they haven’t already.
But taking a blood pressure (BP) medication is no small consideration. They come riddled with side effects like:
The good news is, if you’re toeing the line of the high BP zone, there’s a way you can avoid a diagnosis—and a subsequent prescription—altogether. And if you’re already taking a BP drug, you may even be able to reduce your dose.
All thanks to a safe, natural, pill-free technique you can do anytime, anywhere. In fact, one Massachusetts doctor has changed his practice—and his patients’ lives—with this drug-free approach.
For most of his career, Dr. Randy Zusman followed a conventional approach to medicine. He was used to doling out plenty of prescriptions for high blood pressure. But then he and his colleagues led a study that produced some amazing results…
Dr. Zusman and his colleagues recruited 24 patients who had early stage hypertension (high BP)—but were not on blood pressure medication.
They were taught a few different mind-body techniques intended to activate their “relaxation response”—also known as the parasympathetic nervous system or “rest and digest” system. This is the part of the nervous system that’s activated when your body is calm and relaxed.
At the end of the 8-week study, 54 percent of the patients experienced a significant drop in both their systolic and diastolic BP readings—to the point where they were no longer clinically defined as having stage 1 hypertension…
In other words, they’d lowered their high blood pressure without a single pill.
Dr. Zusman explains that activating your body’s relaxation response helps increase production of nitric oxide—a molecule that’s naturally produced by nearly every cell in your body.
Among its many important functions, nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open up and become more flexible. This allows blood to flow smoothly, which in turn, lowers your BP.
So, how do you activate your relaxation response and, in turn, boost your levels of nitric oxide?
Well, it turns out, all you need is your voice and your breath.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve likely read about how vocal sounds like humming stimulate the vagus nerve—the longest nerve in the body that touches every major organ.
This stimulation of the vagus nerve directly spurs the production of nitric oxide, as do deep breathing exercises.
So the exercise I just shared gives you a double-dose of beneficial nitric oxide!
Today’s takeaway is this: You have the ability to improve your body’s healing potential… perhaps more than you might realize. And sometimes, our body’s built-in systems can work just as well—if not better—than any conventional treatment.
Of course, sometimes we really do need medication! So be sure to have a conversation with your doctor first, before you reduce or stop taking anything you’ve been prescribed.
Whether you have high blood pressure or not, take a cue from Dr. Zusman’s research and treat yourself to a “daily dose” of relaxation response.
This practice not only promotes overall good health, but also serves as an important reminder to acknowledge and take a few minutes for one thing that matters most: yourself.
Jim Donovan, M.Ed.
P.S. – If you’d like to learn even more exercises to activate your relaxation response, I think you’ll really enjoy my Sound Solution Guided Audio Tool kit. Simply click here to learn more or get started today!
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Aubrey, A. (2008). To Lower Blood Pressure, Open Up and Say “Om.” NPR.org. Retrieved from: npr.org/2008/08/21/93796200/to-lower-blood-pressure-open-up-and-say-om
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2018). Relaxation response may reduce blood pressure by altering expression of a set of genes. ScienceDaily.com. Retrieved from: sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180404093929.htm
High blood pressure medicines. MedlinePlus.com. Retrieved from: medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007484.htm
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About the author:
Jim Donovan M.Ed. is a multi-platinum musician, educator and TEDx speaker. His mission is to share the restorative power of music through education and performance. He is also an Assistant Professor and Director of Music and Wellness at Saint Francis University.
His viral TEDx Talk "How to Trick Your Brain Into Falling Asleep" has been viewed over 6 million times to date.
Learn more: https://www.donovanhealth.com/