Heart disease: Doctor explains how to reduce risk
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In the UK, a stroke happens every five minutes. This is a life-threatening and urgent medical condition that happens when part of the brain stops receiving blood. According to Stroke Association, the condition “accounts for roughly 75 percent of deaths from cerebrovascular diseases”. However, meditating every day could reduce the risk of death by stroke by 48 percent, research indicates.
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin conducted a five-year study to verify the impact of meditation on people affected by heart disease.
The study asked its patients to practice transcendental meditation for 20 minutes a day.
This meditation technique involves silently repeating a mantra in the head for 20 minutes a day while sitting comfortably with eyes closed.
Transcendental meditation allows the mind and body to relax deeply while remaining alert.
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“We hypothesised that reducing stress by managing the mind-body connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease,” said Robert Schneider, M.D. and lead researcher.
Aside from reducing the risk of stroke by 48 percent, the five-year program brought a series of health benefits to its participants, which are linked to a reduced risk of stroke.
People who meditated daily had a reduction in blood pressure of 5mm Hg.
Researchers also noted that anger “decreased significantly”.
Moreover, the study noted that participants who took up a meditation routine showed changes in alcohol consumption, smoking, and exercising.
“Transcendental Meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions,” commented Doctor Schneider.
He also argued that is a “safe” and “established” routine that could be easily implemented among patients to prevent stroke in the future.
Meditating is also good for reducing blood pressure.
According to research published in the International Journal of Cardiology, when meditating, the nerve signals that synchronise heart function and blood vessel tension relax.
As a consequence, blood pressure improves and the strain on the heart decreases.
On the other hand, when blood pressure is high, the event of a stroke is more likely.
Transcendental mediation is not the only option to cut the risk of a stroke.
Open-monitoring meditation for a few minutes a day can allow people to become aware of all aspects of their environment.
Then there’s focused-attention mediation, where the person concentrates their attention on one single thought, image, sound, or object.
Whereas guided meditation is good for beginners, as it consists in visualising mental images while being guided by a voice.
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