Lower BP with RESPeRATE - or with a Walkman?
I just came across one of the older studies on the RESPeRATE, a device approved by the FDA for lowering blood pressure. It does this by sensing the person's breathing rate and composing a brief "melody" to guide the patient in deep slow breathing with an extended exhale. In this particular study (and I believe there have been about seven or eight others), those using the RESPeRATE reduced their SBP by an average of 15.2, their DBP by 10.0 and MAP by 11.7 mm Hg after using the device ten minutes daily for eight consecutive weeks. But - get this! They compared use of the device to patients who listened to quiet music on a Walkman for the same amount of time. The results of that were a reduction of SBP by 11.3, DBP of 5.6 and MAP of 7.5 mm Hg!
So, though the results of using the RESPeRATE were significantly better, just listening to soft music daily achieved some pretty decent results, too. I think I'll go rummage through my CDs and see what I have in the way of "easy listening."
For anyone so inclined to follow up, the article was titled Treating hypertension with a device that slows and regularises breathing: a randomised, double-blind controlled study and appeared in the April 2001 issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.