For a long time, modern medicine has been using breathing exercises to solve various health problems. A recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Colorado in the United States has proven the effectiveness of breathing exercises to normalize blood pressure and restore the functioning of blood vessels. According to the experiment, 5-minute special breathing exercises can replace 30-minute daily walking and help to lower blood pressure. It is even comparable in effect to the course of medication.
The experiment was based on the Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) method, developed back in the 1980s. The main idea of the IMST method is to use vigorous inhalation through a portable device that provides resistance to inhalation. Traditionally, the IMST technique has been used with low inspiratory resistance over a 30-minute workout. Scientists from Colorado decided to test the effect of high inhalation resistance for 5 minutes.
The experiment involved 36 volunteers aged 50 to 79 years with systolic blood pressure above normal (from 120 mm Hg). The tested patients were divided into two groups. The first group performed high resistance IMST. The second group used the placebo protocol, breathing air at normal resistance. The experiment lasted for 6 weeks with 30 inhalations daily.
The results were amazing. There was no change in the normal pressure group. Meanwhile, systolic blood pressure improved by an average of 9 points for the participants using the high-resistance inspiratory technique.
The technique has notably led to a long-term effect – even 6 weeks after the patients stopped using IMST, the results were preserved. Scientists have compared the efficacy of a 5-minute high-resistance IMST to the effect of a 30-minute jog or medication. Today, scientists plan to conduct testing with 100 patients, and the duration of the experiment will be increased to 12 weeks.