An estimated 1 billion people are affected by hypertension (high blood pressure) worldwide – uncontrolled hypertension can lead to complications such as heart attack or stroke. Those with the condition don’t usually show any signs or symptoms, and primary hypertension has no identifiable cause.
Hypertension can be treated with medication, but such drugs are expensive and have side effects. Therefore, effective non-pharmacological intervention is preferred, such as exercise and reducing salt consumption. Other methods involving relaxation and stress-relief techniques such as yoga and meditation have promise but also show inconsistent results. Slow breathing (less than 10 breaths per minute) is another potential alternative remedy, and device-guided slow breathing has particularly demonstrated in randomised clinical trials to reduce blood pressure.