An Om a day might just keep the blood pressure medication away, reports NPR. Daily meditation helped lower the blood pressure in two-thirds of patients in a recent study who were striking out on the medication front. Participants used the “relaxation response” technique, of sitting quietly for 15 minutes while repeating a word silently. Nitric oxide production increases, opening blood vessels wider and lowering blood pressure.
“You’re pushing the same amount of blood through a bigger pipe,” the lead doctor says. “And that’s what nitric oxide—which all of us make in our body—does in response to relaxation response.” But like anything requiring discipline, the technique's benefits could be short-lived. A year after the study, at least one success story admitted to slacking on his meditation.