Harvard Heart Letter

Can deep, slow breathing lower blood pressure?

Deep, slow breathing may dampen nerve activity that activates the “fight-or-flight” response, causing blood vessels to relax and widen. A device called RESPeRATE that monitors, directs, and slows a person’s breathing is approved as a nondrug method for lowering blood pressure. But the evidence to support its claims is weak. Practicing the “relaxation response” (a stress-reducing technique) may provide similar benefits without the need for a device. 
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