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RESPeRATE Device May Lower Blood Pressure

Using Device 15 Minutes Daily Slows Breathing, Lowers Blood Pressure

'Sneaky' RESPeRATE Device Study continued...

These frequent users got a 15 point drop in blood pressure. Even a small, sustained drop in blood pressure can have big health benefits.

In other studies, patients who aggressively monitor their blood pressure usually see a small but significant blood pressure drop. That happened here, too. Monitoring alone resulted in a 9.2 point drop in systolic blood pressure. Adding the RESPeRATE device lowered blood pressure even more.

"Those who got the device -- even though they were not expecting it -- used it correctly," Elliott says. "Those who did were able to lower their blood pressure."

Do You Really Need the RESPeRATE Device?

Why not just sit and breathe slowly while listening to relaxing music? It might work, and a portable CD player is less expensive than a RESPeRATE device. But Elliott says the RESPeRATE device does a lot more than play music.

"The reason the machine might be more helpful is that it is a method of biofeedback that allows you not to have to focus on lowering your breathing rate. It does that for you," Elliott says. "You just follow the tones and do the breathing. Because you don't spend much effort in your muscles or your brain, you will have a better relaxation response -- and some reduction in blood pressure. All those things are tied together."

If you have high blood pressure, see a doctor before trying any over-the-counter treatment, warns Laurence Sperling, MD, director of preventive cardiology at Atlanta's Emory University.

"It is important for anybody with high blood pressure to seek the advice of a doctor in addressing the causes and also treatment approaches," Sperling tells WebMD. "It seems it should be simple and easy - but actually, high blood pressure can be difficult to treat. But this device, for some people, could help them improve their blood pressure."

Sperling notes that he regularly refers high blood pressure patients to psychological services for stress reduction, including biofeedback training.

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