Contemplative meditation reduces ambulatory blood pressure and stress-induced hypertension: A randomized pilot trial

Journal of Human Hypertension (Impact Factor: 2.7). 03/2008; 22(2):138-40. DOI: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1002275
Source: PubMed


A total of 52 pharmacologically untreated subjects with essential hypertension were randomly allocated to either 8 weeks of contemplative meditation combined with breathing techniques (CMBT) or no intervention in this observer-blind controlled pilot trial. CMBT induced clinically relevant and consistent decreases in heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure if measured during office readings, 24-h ambulatory monitoring and mental stress test. Longer-term studies should evaluate CMBT as an antihypertensive strategy.

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Available from: Roland Jahns, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "Long-term meditation practice has also been associated with cortical thickening and increased gray matter volume in brain regions involved in attentional performance, sensory processing, and interoception (103, 107, 108), apparently offsetting typical age-related cortical thinning and gray matter loss (108). In addition, recent research suggests that meditation programs can enhance immune response (109) and clinical outcomes (82, 85), and reduce blood pressure (85, 90, 100, 110), insulin resistance and glucose intolerance (97, 111), oxidative stress (84, 112), inflammation (93), and other related risk indices (84, 85). While research in cognitively impaired populations remains limited, findings from previous observational studies (113, 114) and two recent small clinical trials (90, 91, 95, 105) suggest that meditation practice may reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure; improve cognition; promote beneficial changes in brain structure and function; and improve health outcomes in adults with memory disorders. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic, progressive, brain disorder that affects at least 5.3 million Americans at an estimated cost of $148 billion, figures that are expected to rise steeply in coming years. Despite decades of research, there is still no cure for AD, and effective therapies for preventing or slowing progression of cognitive decline in at-risk populations remain elusive. Although the etiology of AD remains uncertain, chronic stress, sleep deficits, and mood disturbance, conditions common in those with cognitive impairment, have been prospectively linked to the development and progression of both chronic illness and memory loss and are significant predictors of AD. Therapies such as meditation that specifically target these risk factors may thus hold promise for slowing and possibly preventing cognitive decline in those at risk. In this study, we briefly review the existing evidence regarding the potential utility of meditation as a therapeutic intervention for those with and at risk for AD, discuss possible mechanisms underlying the observed benefits of meditation, and outline directions for future research.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 04/2014; 5:40. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00040
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    • "A 2012 review of 14 studies (13 of which were RCTs) concluded small yet meaningful reductions in both systolic and diastolic BP could be reliably achieved through meditation interventions [166]. For example, a well-designed study of 52 patients with hypertension randomized participants to contemplative meditation practice or a no-treatment control and found decreases in heart rate, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as measured during 24-hour ambulatory monitoring and in reaction to mental stress testing [90]. As well, a recent study comparing the effects of MBSR to progressive muscle relaxation in 56 prehypertensive adults found that MBSR produced significant reductions in SBP and DBP compared to the relaxation control group [91]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for treating symptoms of a wide range of medical conditions has proliferated in recent decades. Mindfulness is the cultivation of nonjudgmental awareness in the present moment. It is both a practice and a way of being in the world. Mindfulness is purposefully cultivated in a range of structured interventions, the most popular of which is mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), followed by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). This paper begins with a discussion of the phenomenological experience of coping with a chronic and potentially life-threatening illness, followed by a theoretical discussion of the application of mindfulness in these situations. The literature evaluating MBIs within medical conditions is then comprehensively reviewed, applying a levels of evidence rating framework within each major condition. The bulk of the research looked at diagnoses of cancer, pain conditions (chronic pain, low back pain, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Most outcomes assessed are psychological in nature and show substantial benefit, although some physical and disease-related parameters have also been evaluated. The field would benefit from more adequately powered randomized controlled trials utilizing active comparison groups and assessing the moderating role of patient characteristics and program "dose" in determining outcomes.
    11/2012; 2012(5):651583. DOI:10.5402/2012/651583
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    • "The reductions in blood pressure observed in this study are consistent with previous research regarding the effects of simple meditation programs in older adults with hypertension , coronary artery disease, and related chronic conditions [36] [74] [75]. Caregivers are at greater risk for hypertension [76], and recent research has suggested that elevated blood pressure may largely explain the increased coronary heart disease risk observed in this population [77]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To investigate the effects of an 8-week meditation program on perceived stress, sleep, mood, and related outcomes in adults with cognitive impairment and their caregivers. Methods. Community-dwelling adults with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or early-stage Alzheimer's disease, together with their live-in caregivers, were enrolled in the study. After a brief training, participants were asked to meditate for 11 minutes, twice daily for 8 weeks. Major outcomes included measures of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), sleep (General Sleep Disturbance Scale), mood (Profile of Mood States), memory functioning (Memory Functioning Questionnaire), and blood pressure. Participants were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Results. Ten participants (5 of 6 dyads) completed the study. Treatment effects did not vary by participant status; analyses were thus pooled across participants. Adherence was good (meditation sessions completed/week: X = 11.4 ± 1.1). Participants demonstrated improvement in all major outcomes, including perceived stress (P < 0.001), mood (overall, P = 0.07; depression, P = 0.01), sleep (P < 0.04), retrospective memory function (P = 0.04), and blood pressure (systolic, P = 0.004; diastolic, P = 0.065). Conclusions. Findings of this exploratory trial suggest that an 8-week meditation program may offer an acceptable and effective intervention for reducing perceived stress and improving certain domains of sleep, mood, and memory in adults with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2012; 2012:927509. DOI:10.1155/2012/927509 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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