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Beyond pills: Cardiologists examine alternatives to halt high blood pressure
Date:8/30/2011

icals. They say health care providers and patients need to be aware that the safety of these products is not always rigorously established and that formulations can vary.

Acupuncture/Meditation

Research on both practices is mixed the types of patients included, the methods used, and the results, which vary from study to study. While there is no conclusive evidence that either lowers blood pressure, researchers found that acupuncture reduces blood pressure compared to placebo in patients also taking anti-hypertensive medications, while in a meta-analysis, transcendental meditation appeared to lower blood pressure. Other techniques that may provide some benefit include Zen Buddhist meditation and Qi Gong.

Devices

Some devices developed in recent years involve a medical procedure, while others use technology that requires patients to participate in various exercises.

Those that involve a procedure include the implantable Rheos device, which regulates blood pressure much like a pacemaker regulates heart rhythm, and the Symplicity catheter system, which ablates or destroys nerves around the kidneys that send inappropriate signals to the brain to increase blood pressure. Both are designed for patients with difficult-to-treat hypertension and led to significant drops in blood pressure in clinical trials. They are only available to research participants at this time.

Two devices that patients can use in the comfort of their own homes are the RESPeRATE breathing device and the Zona Plus hand drip device. The RESPeRATE system uses a breath sensor and gives patients feedback through headphones to help them slow their breathing, which research suggests benefits blood pressure. If used 15 minutes a day, studies show RESPeRATE leads to a modest decrease in hypertension.


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Contact: Emily Boynton
emily_boynton@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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