Science Saturday: Alternative therapies may help lower blood pressure
DALLAS — Alternative therapies such as aerobic exercise, resistance or strength training, and isometric hand grip exercises may help reduce your blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.
In a new scientific statement published in its journal Hypertension, the association said alternative approaches could help people with blood pressure levels higher than 120/80 mm Hg and those who can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.
However, alternative therapies shouldn’t replace proven methods to lower blood pressure — including physical activity, managing weight, not smoking or drinking excess alcohol, eating a low sodium balanced diet and taking medications when prescribed, the association said.
High blood pressure — a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke — affects more than 26 percent of the population worldwide and contributes to more than 13 percent of premature deaths.
An expert panel assessed three alternative remedy categories: exercise regimens; behavioral therapies such as meditation; and non-invasive procedures or devices including acupuncture and device-guided slow breathing. The panel did not review dietary and herbal treatments.
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