Benefits of yoga for hypertension

Benefits of yoga for hypertension


Yoga can be a better alternative for psychosomatic disease like Hypertension. Simple life style management and Yoga can be a boon for Hypertensive patients.


Please consult with your doctor if you have HTN. You should never use Yoga as the sole treatment for hypertension without the supervision of your doctor. This can be fatal.


Hypertension is a challenge to the medical profession. It is one of the most common cardio-vascular disease processes.


Yoga & Therapy? Yoga is an ancient system of self-development, which offers a holistic approach to man through its ideology & techniques. In the modern age of advanced technology, people have lost their ability to recognize sickness at its subtle level. We are so busy with our hectic timetable that we only take notice of our health when serious symptom occurs. Even then, we just look for the appropriate fast method of cure so that we can still make it to our business and social engagements until the inevitable breakdown occurs. Then also we relate only to that specific organ or limb which has been affected rather than to our total health. We should learn to recognize our problems at the emotional level itself before they translate into physical disease. In this way, we can save ourselves from a lot of suffering and depression.


We should try to understand more about why we lose our mental balance before it is too late and develops into serious psychological illness. Unfortunately our sensitivity has become so dull that we take notice of the disorder only when our normal function gets affected seriously. Consequently, we fail to get to the root cause of our problems. Here Yoga can be useful if practiced sincerely, regularly and under the guidance of a qualified teacher.


Yoga makes us realize that disease affecting any specific part of our body is not really a disease confined only to that part but in fact, it is a manifestation of some disharmony in the body-mind complex of the whole personality. It is now realized that modern medical science influences the health of the people comparatively to a lesser extent than the other factors like hereditary, environment, diet, activities, rest and relaxation, etc. Yoga has much to contribute in these aspects. Recent research has shown that mind plays a more vital role in ensuring total health. Yoga is an effective way of dealing with mind, which in turn helps in dealing with any psychosomatic diseases/disorders like Hypertension. This is the reason why all, including the medical fraternity, are now turning to Yoga with great expectations.


Consistently elevated Blood Pressure is called Hypertension.


Systolic BP gets elevated due to various reasons like exercise, strenuous actions and emotions like anger, fear & anxiety. Diastolic BP is most significant as it is related to relaxation of the heart and reflects baseline pressure level in arterial network.


Emotional disturbance, physical and mental activity can alter the BP level. With the changes in physical and mental activity, requirements of blood in different parts of the body also change. To fulfill these extra requirements, the heart has to pump blood with increased pressure.


Blood Pressure depends on activity of the person. It varies in the same person on the same day at different times. It changes even while a person is sitting or standing. Immediately on standing, walking or running, BP varies. Hypertension is also dependent on the mental makeup of a person. Different people respond to similar situations differently.


There are two types of Hypertension: 1) Primary or Essential & 2) Secondary.


In primary Hypertension although the patient has high Blood Pressure, he does not experience any specific symptoms. Causes of around 90% of this type of Hypertension remain unknown to modern medical science. However, if not detected and controlled in an early stage, Hypertension can cause arterial cardiac & renal damage and reduce life expectancy by years or decades.


Normally, following are the causes attributed to primary Hypertension:


- Stress & Strain

- Emotional Disturbance

- Heredity

- Race

- Geographical location and climatic condition of place of stay

- Obesity

- "A" type personalities - over ambitious - over burdened, worrying and hyper-reactive

- Faulty way of living - no exercise, using stimulants, improper diet, high fly life style.


Secondary Hypertension is a type of Hypertension which occurs as secondary to some of the following recognizable physical causes:


- Infection/ damage to kidney

- Malfunctioning of endocrine glands

- Narrowing of Aorta or large arteries

- Hardening of arteries /roughening of its inner lining or thickening of arterial walls (Arteriosclerosis)

- Loss of elasticity of arteries/veins or clotting of blood or accumulation of fat resulting in closure of those arteries causing damage of blood organs to which they supply blood

- Pregnancy

- Blocks in blood vessels at the time of birth. To overcome these blocks more pressure has to be generated

- Blocks in vessels can be developed in later stage of life. This can mainly happen through TB

- Malfunctioning of Pituitary gland in the brain

- Overwork or underwork of Thyroid gland in throat

- Blockages in Kidney vessels

- Adrenal gland secrets excess hormone


Hypertension - A Silent Killer:


Usually Hypertension is asymptomatic i.e. without noticeable symptom. Hence, Hypertension generally goes unnoticed in pre and labile stages and one may come to know only when it sets in the fixed stage. This is the reason, why hypertension is known as a silent killer and a disease in disguise.


Symptoms in Fixed Stage of Hypertension:


- Mild & pounding headache

- Ringing in Ears

- Giddiness, easy fatigability

- Hazy Vision

- Disturbed kidney functioning


Continued uncontrolled elevated blood pressure for long periods is harmful and ultimately may prove disastrous as it seriously damages important organs like the brain and heart. Some of the serious implications of neglecting Hypertension for long are:


- Heart Attack

- Heart Failure

- Strokes

- Paralysis

- Impaired Vision

- Kidney Failure


Concept of Yogic Therapy:


Yoga is a science and its practice harmonizes the body and mind. Yoga is immensely useful for promoting total health. It also works effectively as a therapy in three ways – preventive, curative, rehabilitative. The yoga therapy has proved its excellence in psychological disorders like Hypertension.


Researchers have established the efficacy of yogic practices in preventing and even treating psychosomatic disorders/diseases, this has now drawn the attention of many to yogic therapy, all over the world. Now Yoga is no longer only an alternative therapy. World health Organization (WHO), the highest body of medical practitioners has now recognized the important role of yoga as a supplementary and complementary therapy.


Yogic therapy treats patient as a whole, rather than treating only symptoms of diseases or disorders. This therapy goes beyond apparent causes and symptoms and tackles the root cause of the disease or disorder.


Therapeutic role of Yoga:


As per the studies conducted by US Health Dept., death rate by heart diseases has gone down in the US by 50% during last 25 years. This is just due to proper life-style management. More and more Americans are now becoming vegetarians and taking to daily exercise. Yoga and meditation has helped them to control blood pressure. Hypertension can regress with proper life-style management and practice of Yoga/Meditation.


Adopt a Proper Life Style: By adopting a proper life-style and making Yoga – a way of life, one can surely prevent as well as cure Hypertension. Yoga is also beneficial in speedy rehabilitation of a patient. Following are some of the aspects of proper life-style :


- Daily Ushapan (drink potable water in the morning 2 to 3 glasses), which helps in effective elimination of waste products.


- Satvik (nutritious), simple mitahar i.e. diet free of excessive oil and saturated fats. Minimize salt consumption.


- Consciously be aware of the tenets of Yama (non violence, truthfulness, non stealing, continence, non hoarding) and Niyama ( purity, contentment, penance, self study, self surrender to the Supreme). Sincerely try to follow them in your life to the extent possible.


- Practice mind-purging techniques like Sakshibhavana, Bhavana Vimochana. etc.


- Don't suppress emotions. Laugh or smile as often as you can. Cry or express anger when it is unbearable.


- When something worries you, take it out. Don't keep it within yourself.


- Take a quick mental break by visualizing your favorite place in mind; it can either be mountains or ocean or the serene place you visited last. Get absorbed in the seeing, smelling, hearing the things you visualized and relive the soothing experience just by visualizing it as and when you wish


- Have a moderation in everything.


- Do mild exercises regularly and maintain body weight and fitness at desired level.


- Avoid alcohol and usage of tobacco in any form.


- What's fun for you is very good for you. Indulge in your interests and hobbies when you can.


- If you are worrying all the time for yourself, why not worry for difficulties of others and do something helpful for them? This will give you a lot of happiness.


- Forget the Superman/Superwoman image. No one can be perfect in everything.


- Have 'Satsang' i.e. be in good atmosphere, be in good company, read religious and spiritual books and do Swadhyaya (reading spiritual books). This will help in keeping "six enemies" under your control.


- Adopt positive and optimistic approach in life. Have adaptability.


- Shed your ego and cultivate cheerfulness.


- Do recommended Yoga Asanas faithfully, regularly and according to your capacity.


- Meditate regularly.


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