Combining rhythmic breathing and focused mental attention can elicit a healthful physiological state called the relaxation response. Being in the relaxation response for 10 to 20 minutes daily counteracts stress and its unhealthy effects. At the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the relaxation response is taught as part of post-heart attack rehab and as a tool for controlling high blood pressure. Some people are able to stop taking one or more of their blood pressure medications by consistently eliciting the relaxation response.
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