Effects of mental relaxation and slow breathing in essential hypertension
ABSTRACT To compare mental relaxation and slow breathing as adjunctive treatment in patients of essential hypertension by observing their effects on blood pressure and other autonomic parameters like heart rate, respiratory rate, peripheral skin temperature, electromyographic activity of the frontalis muscle and skin conductance.
One hundred patients of essential hypertension either receiving antihypertensive drugs or unmedicated were selected randomly. Various parameters were recorded during the resting state and then during mental relaxation and slow breathing for 10 min each, separated by a quiet period of 15 min. All parameters were recorded again after mental relaxation and slow breathing. Changes in various parameters observed after mental relaxation and slow breathing were analyzed and compared.
Both mental relaxation and slow breathing resulted in a fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and electromyographic activity with increase in peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance. Slow breathing caused a significantly higher fall in heart rate (p<0.05), respiratory rate (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (p<0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.01). Increase in peripheral skin temperature (p<0.05) and reduction in electromyographic activity (p<0.05) occurred more with mental relaxation. No significant differences were seen between increases in skin conductance (p>0.2) observed with both the modalities.
Even a single session of mental relaxation or slow breathing can result in a temporary fall in blood pressure. Both the modalities increase the parasympathetic tone but have effects of different intensity on different autonomic parameters.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite a good adherence to lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive drugs, hypertension remains resistant in more than one-third of patients, thus creating the need for additional strategies, including non-pharmacologic approaches. Slow and deep breathing ("paced breathing") associated in the past with meditation has a direct antihypertensive effect by increasing baroreflex sensitivity. With the method of guiding the pace of breathing, a US Food and Drug Administration-certified device, RESPeRATE, may offer an easy, efficient, inexpensive, and noninvasive option for treating hypertension. Multiple studies showed a significant reduction of blood pressure when RESPeRATE was evaluated in a home and office setting. In conclusion, this review outlines the pathophysiologic background of paced respiration, describes RESPeRATE clinical trials, and presents briefly other guided breathing alternatives. Copyright © 2014 American Society of Hypertension. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of the American Society of Hypertension (JASH) 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jash.2014.10.002 · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cigarette craving usually occurs in conjunction with unpleasant feelings including stress, as part of a withdrawal syndrome. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a behavioural technique used to reduce stress by concentrating on achieving muscle relaxation, may reduce levels of cigarette craving and other substance-related negative feelings and withdrawal symptoms.Methods Demographic and cigarette use data were collected from thirty-two experienced smokers at the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand using the Semi-Structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism. Participants were asked to refrain from smoking for at least three hours before the visit (acute abstinence) and were randomly allocated to a one-session PMR group (n = 16) or a control activity group (e.g. reading newspaper, n = 16). The intervention group was instructed to practice PMR individually in a quiet, private, air-conditioned room for about 20 minutes. Craving, other substance-related feelings and autonomic nervous responses (e.g. blood pressure and pulse rate) were assessed immediately before and after the one-session intervention.ResultsThere were no differences in demographics, cigarette use/dependence, and baseline craving characteristics between the PMR and control groups. However, the control group had higher levels of high and paranoia feeling, and pulse rate than the PMR group at baseline. After practicing PMR, but not after a control activity, smokers undergoing acute abstinence had significantly lower levels of cigarette craving, withdrawal symptoms and systolic blood pressure than at baseline. After controlling for baseline differences, abstaining smokers using PMR had lower levels of cigarette craving, withdrawal symptoms and systolic blood pressure than smokers who undertook a control activity.ConclusionsPMR significantly reduces cigarette craving, withdrawal symptoms and blood pressure in smokers undergoing acute abstinence. PMR may be used as an adjunct to cigarette dependency treatments.Behavior Therapy 11/2014; 46(2). DOI:10.1016/j.beth.2014.10.002 · 2.43 Impact Factor
12/2014; 1(1). DOI:10.1186/s40639-014-0005-9