Resistance Breathing

Resistance-Breathing Training to Lower Blood Pressure, Explain Researchers


A team of researchers from University of Colorado, Alma College, and University of Arizona have found that resistance-breathing training can drop blood pressure as much as some medicines and/or exercise.

Clinically, hypertension can be a cause of large number of health problems, from loss of vision to strokes and heart attacks. This is the reason hypertension is taken seriously.

Typically, for hypertension, patients are asked to alter the diet and exercise more. If this does help, medications are prescribed. Meanwhile, in a new effort, researchers examined resistance breathing training – a new type of therapy to lower blood pressure levels.

In terms of technique, resistance-breathing involves breathing from a small device, called POWERbreathe, each day for couple of minutes. The instrument pushes the patient to use their breathing muscles and inhale air through, to make them stronger. This reduces blood pressure too, found the researchers. Meanwhile, the device has been in use for several years to assist athletes, singers, and people with weak muscles.

To establish the working of the technique, several groups of healthy volunteers practised it for few minutes every day for six weeks. Each individual breathed in and out with the device 30 times for each session. Each of the volunteer had their blood pressure measured before and after the training.

For each individual who practised the technique, a sustained average drop of 9 mmHg observed in systolic blood pressure. The change observed is as significant, as much as observed for some patients with medication. The change observed using the technique is similar to that observed in patients who begin an aerobic exercise regimen, such as walking, running, or cycling. Such training could be used by patients of all ages who are unable to exercise to drop the blood pressure.

Edward Turner

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