Updated: May 18
High blood pressure is a rising issue globally, with rates of high blood pressure increasing amongst populations year-on-year. While many choose to use medication to help alleviate their symptoms, many decide to take a more natural route.
Remedies such as meditation, mindfulness techniques, and certain types of herbal teas can help reduce high blood pressure when done correctly. However, if you have significantly elevated blood pressure, these techniques should be supplementary to medication rather than a replacement.
There is one method you can learn immediately that relieves high blood pressure effectively - breathing. Like meditation and mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises have been proven to have a powerful effect on high blood pressure.
In today’s blog, we’re going to explore how breathing affects blood pressure and how you can relieve yourself of your high blood pressure woes.
First, it’s worth it to get an accurate description of high blood pressure and the long-term effects it can have on your health and wellbeing.
High blood pressure is also known as Hypertension and is the measurement of how much resistance your blood is meeting as it courses through your veins and vessels.
The most common reason for the development of hypertension is the narrowing of arteries, which increases blood flow pressure. This narrowing of arteries can be caused by various factors such as aging, genetic predisposition, lack of physical activity, and high levels of stress.
If left unchecked, high levels of blood pressure can lead to increased strain on the heart as well as kidney disease, sleep apnea, thyroid and endocrine problems, and chronic fatigue.
How Can Breathing Help?
So, now that you’ve been sufficiently scared by our brief explanation of hypertension, you’re probably wondering just how breathing could help alleviate anything, let alone high blood pressure.
While it may be something we do every day, the reality is that humans can often stand to be a lot better at breathing than they are. With an abundance of stimuli at our beck and call, breathing has become much faster and less efficient than before. Unfortunately, this makes deep breathing a less commonly known or appreciated aspect of daily life despite being crucial to maintaining overall health.
Deep breathing involves taking consistent deep breaths through the nose exclusively. Breathing deeply like this at regular intervals allows the body to fully exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, causing blood vessels to dilate and allowing blood pressure to lower as a result.
Breathing exclusively through your nose also allows for a more significant amount of oxygen to be taken in per breath by the body, supporting smoother blood flow while carrying oxygenated blood cells more efficiently.
Greater Part of the Whole
Of course, while maintaining a controlled style of deep breathing is hugely helpful, it’s not the only solution available if you find yourself suffering from chronically high blood pressure.
Instead, it’s always best advised to make sure you account for other factors as well, fitting in regular exercise and a healthier diet as part of your routine. Combining all of these methods will make the meaningful results you’re looking for and should always be done as a supplement to medication rather than a complete alternative.
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here.
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.