What’s the best way to get your blood pressure down? A statement released by the American Heart Association reports on the findings of an expert panel that reviewed more than 1,000 studies on behavioral therapies, non-invasive procedures and devices, and three types of exercise. Read it and buy yourself a handgrip exerciser.
1. There isn’t enough evidence to recommend acupuncture for lowering blood pressure, but device-guided slow breathing did lower blood pressure when performed for 15-minute sessions three to four times a week.
2. Biofeedback and transcendental meditation may lower blood pressure slightly, but there’s not enough data to recommend other types of meditation.
3. There isn’t enough evidence to recommend yoga and other relaxation techniques.
4. And finally: All three types of exercise reduced blood pressure. Walking programs provided modest benefit while, somewhat surprisingly, four weeks of isometric hand grip exercises resulted in some of the most impressive improvements – a 10 percent drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.