In my previous post, I shared how slow breathing, or meditation, can lower blood pressure, with or without using "helps," such as CDs, podcasts or the famous (and expensive) RESPeRATE machine.
After I started practicing slow breathing/meditation, I found my blood pressure readings becoming consistently lower. When I saw my doctor, she gave me surprising and happy news: She said I could try going OFF the blood pressure medicine to see how I do. "Most people just want drugs, so that's what I give them," she explained. "But if you're willing to use other methods, I'm willing to work with you." It was refreshing to hear that from a doctor.
It's been almost two weeks now without the med, and so far my blood pressure has been stable. A few times it has been a little bit above normal, but ten minutes of meditating will almost always bring it down. Here are some examples:
Before meditating: 130/93. After meditating: 115/79
Before meditating: 128/90. After meditating: 114/80
What's even more exciting is that usually when I take my blood pressure without meditating, it gives me a completely normal reading, such as 117/77 or 118/84. I haven't seen readings like that for over a year.
I've also varied the way I use the Jesus prayer in my meditation. Sometimes I use the shortened form of the prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." I say it silently once as I inhale slowly and once as I exhale slowly. I usually do about eight breaths per minute.
Meditative prayer has also greatly relieved my anxiety and depression. I believe as I continue to practice it, I will notice other health benefits as well.