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.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.