Category Archives: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Old Salt

One nutrition “truth” that could turn out to be fiction is the connection between high dietary salt and disease, specifically cardiovascular disease. It seems that the recommendation for reducing our salt intake has its origins in some rather slim science. Reading the New York Times articles below, you may come to the same conclusion I am moving towards: In the case of salt, moderation trumps denial.

2014: Study Linking Illness and Salt Leaves Researchers Doubtful

2013: No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet

2012: Salt, We Misjudged You

Salt

Relaxing With RESPeRATE

This is going to sound like a paid advertisement, but it’s not. I own a RESPeRATE device and use it regularly – and I have no commercial interest in the company which makes theĀ RESPeRATE product.

RESPeRATE is a biofeedback-type device which is part of my personal toolkit for meditation and stress reduction. It’s not inexpensive at full-cost ($299), but there are periodic promotions on the company’s website which bring the price down to $199, and I’m sure there are plenty on eBay for much less.

resperatepromotion

I have gone off blood pressure medication and keep my blood pressure down by doing the following. Of course, each of us will respond differently and “your mileage may vary.”

1. daily meditation (sometimes RESPeRATE, sometimes Jon Kabat-Zinn tapes)

2. nutrition – low salt (however, see blog post for May 4, 2014), lots of fruits and vegetables

3. losing weight and now keeping my weight down (the biggest challenge)

4. getting enough sleep (7-8 hours each night)

5. daily exercise

Strangely, there is not a lot of press about RESPeRATE. However, the clinical trials seem to indicate this can help *some* people (remember, I am not an expert, just a consumer trying to get educated about these things). There are many comments on Amazon.com ranging from 1 star to 5 stars which you may find helpful. If you do purchase, I recommend purchasing directly from the company (which does not sell on Amazon) and clarifying the return policy for a money-back guarantee.

If you use one of these devices, please drop us a comment about your experience – that would be most interesting.

 

Blood Pressure: Meditation Over Medication

New guidelines suggest that for people over 60, the side effects of blood pressure medication can do more harm than good in people with slightly elevated numbers.

My story? After suffering through dangerous side effects of two blood pressure medications, I said “enough”, I’ll do it myself. I’ve brought my blood pressure down to normal by changes in lifestyle. This Mayo Clinic article “10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication” describes the effects of various lifestyle changes on blood pressure – small changes can collectively become major reductions. As with everything, work with your doctor to be sure you are doing what’s best for your situation.

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