Yoga against hypertension

Yoga and meditation have proven to be very efficient to help regulate blood pressure. Hypertension in an epidemic in our times and a serious threat to health, because it is almost without symptoms. Calle Ramiro sent us this interesting study of a psychologist and a yoga teacher.

Yoga hypertension

I am very pleased - says Ramiro Street - share your work Laura Tolbaños, psychologist and yoga teacher, and that for years was applied my student of hatha yoga and meditation, has done in this regard, and has presented as the research Master's in psychology at UNED, on the line of 'meditation, relaxation and health', having earned a 9.5 rating

The study of Laura Tolbaños

High blood pressure is a disorder of high health risk. According to the latest who data, suffers 40% of the population over 25 years, around the world, and 36.7%, in Spain.

High blood pressure is considered systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg. Essential or primary hypertension is the one whose origin is not determined organically, trying to be of a functional disorder, highly related to lifestyle. This means 95% of cases of hypertension.

High blood pressure is closely linked to a high reactivity in cardiovascular, understanding this as changes in cardiovascular activity partners, above all the exposure to psychological stress.

This paper discusses the beneficial effects of a comprehensive program of yoga on essential hypertension, mediated by a reducing effect of the reactivity in cardiovascular, based on three fundamental issues. First of all, through their direct action as a practice of physical exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. Secondly, regarding it as a set of techniques for coping stress and thirdly, for their most important beneficial on some of the risk factors and protective effects involved in the development of this pathology.

Yoga promotes a transformation or personal change that leads to a better quality of life. This improvement is reflected:

  • At the physiological level, the practice of yoga induces a coordinated response psychophysiologic which can be considered the antithesis to the response of stress (relaxation response).
  • At the cognitive level, It produces changes in the valuation of stressful situations (primary valuation) and in the assessment of the ability to deal with them and the associated potential consequences (secondary assessment). Develop an attitude of objectivity and fairness before the events of life, favouring an attitude of detachment and distance to the events and their results, allowing relative problems and facilitate coping of the same. In addition, the practice of yoga develops attention and consciousness about the very acts, thoughts and emotions, which allows to detect the physical and mental state of tension to confront it with the available resources.
  • At the behavioral level, the practice of yoga can help access to internal resources for coping. People learn to control impulses, to relax, to ask for help, to seek information and to develop healthier habits and behaviors.
  • On the emotional level, the practice of yoga improves mood, increases optimism, acceptance and promotes emotional regulation.

The aim of this pilot study is to analyze the effects of a comprehensive program of yoga on hypertension and risk and protective factors involved in the development of the same. The assumptions made are that the integral yoga program will reduce systolic, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate (physiological variables), will decrease the risk factors: anxiety, depression, ira-hostilidad and negative affection and increase the protective factor: positive affection. Also expected an increase in the States of relaxation and a decrease in the degree of stress.

It has engaged in a comprehensive program of yoga based on the practice of postures (asanas) and specific respiratory practices indicated in the treatment of hypertension, yoga, meditation and relaxation exercises of mindfulness in everyday life .

The research work It was in a health centre in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. They participated 40 patients of hypertension blood that they were divided into an experimental group, to which applied you yoga program, and a control group, no yoga program. The programme was extended for three months, with two weekly sessions of yoga for an hour and a half each. They completed the study 20 patients, 10 of each group.

Pre and post test were measures (before and after the completion of the program) of the physiological variables for the two groups (experimental and control): systolic, diastolic blood pressure and cardiac frequency of psychological scales: anxiety, depression , positive and negative affection, ira-hostilidad, relaxation and degree of stress States. The experimental group, in addition, her steps were taken pre and post session (before and after each session of yoga).

The statistical analysis of the data resulted in:

  • A statistically significant lowering of systolic and diastolic blood pressure of the group with respect to the control group, after comprehensive yoga program.
  • A statistically significant decrease in anxiety, negative affect, and degree of stress.
  • A decrease in heart rate, depression and ira-hostilidad (although not statistically significant).
  • An increase in the States of relaxation: basic relaxation, full consciousness and positive energy (although not statistically significant).

Also found a decline in cardiovascular reactivity to exercise physical, represented by a drop in the measured post session of systolic blood pressure with respect to the measure pre session in the last six sessions.

Also demonstrated the beneficial effect of the practice of the relaxation Yoga (with which each yoga session is ended) represented on the descent of the measured post session with respect to the measure heart rate pre session, all sessions.

The integral yoga program participants expressed experience, moreover, improvement in flexibility, reduction of physical stress, back pain reduction, greater awareness of the body and movements, improvement in the quality and quantity of the dream, greater relaxation, improves the capacity of concentration, increased optimism, increased self-care, capacity to deal with the stressful events with greater calm and tranquility, increase patience and sense of enrichment staff.

Master of research in Psychology - faculty of Psychology (UNED) summary of the master thesis
Author: Laura Tolbaños Roche
Implementation of a comprehensive program of Yoga to public health essential hypertension

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By • 10 sea, 2014 • section: Bless you