We’ve written before about how yoga can help you lose weight, and there might be a lot more to it than most people think.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, remains the most common reason for office visits to physicians for non-pregnant adults in the United States. Some 50 million Americans are believed to have hypertension, and control of this disease is far from adequate. As a result, hypertension will likely remain the most common risk factor for stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease for years to come. Could yoga help?

The Sanskrit word yoga connotes “the joining of the lower human nature to the higher.” Yoga techniques comprise a series of body positions and movements developed in order to help relax the body and calm the mind. It involves breath control, physical exercises and meditation, which has also been shown to lower blood pressure.

42% of Americans use alternative medicine approaches to meet their health care needs, whether or not they also use prescription medication. Do things like yoga help? Researcher Dr. Ali says that his research “shows that there is some high quality scientific literature supporting the use of mind-body therapies as a treatment for hypertension, and the magnitude of effect is clinically significant.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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