Monday, May 17, 2010


It has been wellknown for a longtime that our blood pressure is in many ways affected by adrenaline levels, and in the normal human being, that means " stress " as adrenaline is very much an interanl stress hormones. That explains why, whenever we are stressed, our BP rises, be it by lack of sleep, tense preparation for an important report or interview, arrival at the doctor's clinic, confronted by a threat ( thief, robber, kidnapper police person, etc .).
In the just concluded EuroPrevent 2010 at Prague ( should have gone for this one. Prague is a nice city ), Dr Wolfgang Mayer-Berger of Germany, presented a study comparing the effect of Yoga ( in its traditional Indian form ) against PMR ( Progressive muscle relaxation ), in BP lowering, in 340 male hypertensives. The PMR was as practiced in Germany ( the control ). It was a stress relaxation technigue, pioneered by Dr Edmud Johnson, and had been extensively used in Germany for " de-stressing ". The Yoga, as used in this study is the ViniYoga, a form of positional Yoga, the positions were used for the purpose of relaxation. The 340 patients were divided into two groups and given 5 sessions of the relaxation exercise ( PMR or Yoga ) over 3 weeks. Each sessions were to last 30 mins. At the end of 3 weeks, the patients BP were measured and it was found that the patients from the Yoga arm had significantly lower BP then those in the PMR arm. Mind you, all these patients were asked to continue with their usual manti-hypertensive medications. Some of them were on triple therapy. The higher their starting BP, the greater the reduction by Yoga.
This study just gives us some data on what we had suspected all along, that physical methods of relaxation and good lifestyle can signifiacntly reduce BP in hypertensives. The reliance on drugs, should be minimised, although it is so much easier to dish out a pill, and for some, so much more profitable too.
I was also very impressed on congresses for the prevention of heart disease as EuroPrevent is trying to do. I wonder who is financing this meeting. It cannot be greatly supported by pharmas or divice companies and I dont see European Union supporting it. But it is certainly a step in the right direction, and I certainly hope that our own heart foundation will organise the same.
Chronic life-style diseases ( as CAD are ) must be prevented, not treated, as a main strategy.

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