A Breathing Apparatus That Lowers Blood Pressure As Effectively As Drugs Or Exercise

A lot of people suffer from high blood pressure. Doctors oftentimes as these people to change their diet, take medicines, and exercise. Any or all of the activities combined will help, but now, a new device could also address this problem.

Researchers have been looking to make the perfect cure for high blood pressure, one that doesn’t require much time or commitment. This could be the next big thing in science and hundreds of thousands of individuals will benefit from it.


There’s an apparatus that requires the user to do a five-minute breathing exercise to help address problems with high blood pressure. This is something you can do while watching television, which makes it extremely easy and convenient. This device has the ability to lower blood pressure as effectively as medications can. This is according to a new small study recently made.

The device is described as “strength training for your breathing muscles.” It makes use of a hand-held medical device that provides resistance while you do the inhaling through a tube. Scientists who have studied it say that it has the ability to lower cardiovascular disease risk in aging adults. It’s also not the only benefit it gives. They say that this could also help athletes in running faster marathons.

The new innovation is called High-Resistance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST). The breathing exercise is meant to be done in reps like high-intensity interval training, with quicker, higher resistance breaths that eventually result in “cardiovascular, cognitive, and sports performance improvements.”

It has been said that the new exercise technique could be even more effective when it comes to lowering blood pressure. In fact, they say that this works even be better than going for a run, especially in postmenopausal women.

Professor Doug Seals is from the University of Colorado Boulder. He labeled this device as an easy and drug-free option when it comes to lowering blood pressure.

The IMST was first developed in the 1980s. This was then used for patients who suffer from respiratory disease. It was designed to help them strengthen their diaphragm and other breathing muscles. The regimen that went with it was prescribed for 30-minute-per-day and at low resistance. Then, the researchers were inspired by HIIT. They saw how much this benefited people, And now, the researchers believe that 30 inhalations per day at high resistance, six days per week, could reap wonderful results, allowing the users to reap its benefits.

The study that was recently made was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. In order to see legitimate results, they recruited 36 healthy adults between the ages 50 to 79 years old, all of whom had higher than normal blood pressure. Half of the patients recruited did high resistance IMST for six weeks and while the rest did a placebo where the resistance was set at a much lower level.

After weeks of doing IMST, they were then asked to quit. Their blood pressure levels were still monitored and what many of the researchers noticed is that these patients managed to maintain most of the improvement they achieved.

Moreover, the treatment group also saw a 45 percent improvement in vascular endothelial function. This is where the arteries had the ability to expand upon stimulation. They also noticed a marked increase in levels of nitric oxide, a molecule key for dilating arteries and preventing plaque buildup. And as doctors say, a person’s nitric oxide levels naturally decline as they age. However, with this study, they didn’t notice it.

The IMST group also noticed their systolic blood pressure dip nine points on average. This type of reduction generally exceeds that achieved by those who walk 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Hence, the impressive decline is also equal to the effects made by many of the pressure-lowering drugs that are available in the market. Thus, this has led the researchers to believe that this could be the best answer to the ongoing worldwide health problem.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Craighead at UC Boulder said, “We found that not only is it more time-efficient than traditional exercise programs, but the benefits may also be longer-lasting.” He then continued to explain, “If aerobic exercise won’t improve this key measure of cardiovascular health for postmenopausal women, they need another lifestyle intervention that will. This could be it.”

Craighead also uses IMST for his own aerobic training. He made it a point to try it out, see how it works, and take note of the changes in his health. He further added, “It’s easy to do, it doesn’t take long, and we think it has a lot of potential to help a lot of people.”

It’s finally nice to have a form of therapy that is available and is effective at lowering blood pressure without having to resort to medicines or doing aerobic exercise. That’s because the said options that are available right now aren’t exactly what people want to do. Many tend to be against it or don’t have the energy to give up most of their time. Thus, IMST would be a great option for them.

Right now, the National Institutes of Health recently awarded Seals a total of $4 million to launch a larger follow-up study that consisted of about 100 people. They will then compare a 12-week IMST protocol head-to-head with those who are engaging in aerobic exercises. More importantly, the research group involved is currently also developing a smartphone app that enables its users to do the protocol while they are at home. This app will make use of already commercially available devices.

Right now, this option may be the most viable one yet. While there’s no denying that healthy diet and regular exercise extremely helps when it comes to promoting health, many just don’t have the inclination or the ability to do so. Hence, IMST could be the answer to all their health woes as all they need to do is attach it to their mouths while they are busy doing something else.