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Relaxation therapy helps hypertension

Relaxation therapy has been shown to be as effective as medication in reducing blood pressure, according to a new study.

The relaxation study

The researchers studied 122 men and women aged 55 and older with high blood pressure. All participants were taking at least two anti hypertensive drugs at the beginning of the study.

Half of the group undertook an intensive 8 week relaxation training program and the other half did not.

Those in the relaxation group had weekly sessions instructing them in how to relax with meditation and deep breathing, as well as guided 20-minute relaxation response sessions. They were also asked to listen to a 20-minute relaxation tape each day.

The results

The results published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, March 2008, showed 32% of those in the relaxation group were able to control their blood pressure while eliminating one or more of their anti-hypertensive drugs.

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