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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 578397, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/578397
Review Article

Current Perspectives on the Use of Meditation to Reduce Blood Pressure

1Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2Summa Health System, Akron, OH 44309, USA
3Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
4Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA

Received 9 August 2011; Revised 17 October 2011; Accepted 24 October 2011

Academic Editor: Tavis S. Campbell

Copyright © 2012 Carly M. Goldstein et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Meditation techniques are increasingly popular practices that may be useful in preventing or reducing elevated blood pressure. We reviewed landmark studies and recent literature concerning the use of meditation for reducing blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals. We sought to highlight underlying assumptions, identify strengths and weaknesses of the research, and suggest avenues for further research, reporting of results, and dissemination of findings. Meditation techniques appear to produce small yet meaningful reductions in blood pressure either as monotherapy or in conjunction with traditional pharmacotherapy. Transcendental meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction may produce clinically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. More randomized clinical trials are necessary before strong recommendations regarding the use of meditation for high BP can be made.