Yoga in High Blood Pressure
In 2021, nearly half of the adults in the United States (47%) suffers from high blood pressure problems. It is a global health problem leading to 516,955 deaths in 2019. It contributes significantly to the risk of heart failure, stroke, artery disease, and myocardial infarction. Aside from medication treatment, lifestyle adjustments, particularly physical activity, and nutritional changes are suggested for all high blood pressure patients. Yoga may be adapted for usage in clinical populations and helps to improve such a widely acknowledged lifestyle adjustment. Yoga is a component of ancient Indian psychological, spiritual, and intellectual practice for approximately centuries. Whereas the main objective of yoga was originally claimed to be the integration of mind, and body. It has become a common approach for improving mental and physical well-being not just in the United States and Europe, but also in India.
Yoga has always been seen as a multifaceted activity that encompasses not just regular exercise but also spiritual and ethical norms, and advice for moral living. Patanjali, who developed eight “limbs” of yoga spanning from broad ethical norms to meditative exercises, is mostly referred to in current yoga schools. Yoga is increasingly being used as an alternative therapy in Europe And North America.  It is most typically related to yoga postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and, in the latter case, meditation (dhyana).
Several more physiological yoga practices are becoming more popular as a therapeutic exercise, including over 14 million Americans saying that a therapist recommended yoga to them. Additionally, roughly 80% of American yoga practitioners indicated they started practicing especially to improve their health. Yoga has indeed been practiced at a certain point mostly in the lives of 13.2 percent of the US population; similar proportions exist in Europe. In Germany, for example, 19.4% are practicing yoga which includes relaxation, exercise, and lifestyle guidance.  It appears to be an excellent supplemental remedy for lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension.  Yoga may be an appealing alternative for patients because of its significant relaxation, ease of performance, and perceived wellness nature.
Yoga as a treatment for high blood pressure
Yoga has been studied for the management of hypertension for a pretty long period.  The 1st randomized trial of yoga to ever be reported was on hypertension. This trial comprised 37 hypertension patients, with 94% taking antihypertensive medication.  The patients were randomly assigned to either yoga therapy for 6 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the yoga group had a mean systolic blood pressure decrease of 26.116.5mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure reduction of 15.28.1mmHg, compared to 8.914.5 and 4.25.9mmHg in the control group. After transferring previously treated patients to the control group and vice versa, the groups no longer varied. Despite a number of methodological flaws, this early study was mostly positive. Further, many randomized controlled trials on the subject have been conducted following the first trial, numerous making hypertension is among the conditions with more data both for and against the impacts of yoga thus far.  Most of the studies listed below were able to imitate Patel and North’s (1975) initial conclusions. A study has been carried out in India, with an untreated group of 33 patients with hypertension, yoga treatment proved to be more beneficial than other treatments and even overpowered antihypertensive medication.  These benefits, though, must be viewed in the context of a report’s uncertain biased risk and its Indian origin. It has already been proven that these controlled randomized studies conducted in India on yoga had around 25 times the probability of reaching conclusions.
Other trials, however, have shown equivalent results; for instance, an 8-week yoga therapy on 61 Thai individuals with untreated hypertension, led to a greater reduction in blood pressure than standard hypertension treatment.  Another new study evaluated two yogic breathing exercises in the untreated control group in 60 patients with hypertension who have been permitted to have their prescribed medication of blood pressure. The study identified a suggestively high reduction in blood pressure due to breathing techniques such as slow or fast breathing exercises when compared to the control group without yoga therapy.  However, the benefits of slow breathing practice in yoga were stronger and resulted in improved nervous system activity as compared to other techniques. Further, no significant variations in salt intake reduction were seen in 113 high blood pressure or prehypertensive adults, despite the yoga group having lower results when compared to an exercise intervention. While two of the studies had a high biasness, the third was of good quality controlling major factors which are responsible for biasness, hence the outcome could not be attributed to bias.  The inclusion of prehypertensive subjects obviously distinguishes the current three trials from those previously described. Yoga may be less effective in treating prehypertension, which is defined as a slightly increased blood pressure ranging from 120 to 139mmHg for systolic blood pressure and 80 to 89mmHg for diastolic blood pressure. As a result, a recent class of yoga for high blood pressure found a substantial impact of the reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure; however, the above effect was just noticeable in experiments that included only high blood pressure patients in subgroup analyses. In studies with mixed groups of high blood pressure and prehypertensive patients, the results were close to zero. Interesting, several yoga treatments showed that only trials that used breathing and/or meditation approaches without physical postures yielded less significant results.  In investigations, physical poses in conjunction with breathing or meditation were found to be more effective.
Yoga, particularly meditation and breathing, appears to be a beneficial conjunction treatment option in the management of high blood pressure problems. This should be considered as an additional supplementary treatment part only, not as a replacement for hypertension medicine. Considering the possible benefit/risk ratio, it may be beneficial to emphasize yoga mediation and breathing practices for the treatment of high blood pressure. Though more data is required, it appears that improvements in parasympathetic activity and reductions in excessive sympathetic activity are basic processes by which yogic meditation, breathing, and poses counteract hypertension.
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