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Updated 23 April 2013

Exercise, alternative therapies lower BP

Report suggests some approaches might work alongside - not instead of - traditional therapy.

Alternative treatments like transcendental meditation, biofeedback and guided breathing appear to reduce high blood pressure in some people, a new report suggests. But only one method that does not involve medication - aerobic exercise - is both proven to have a major impact and highly recommended.

"In general, there's a surprising level of evidence supporting some of the alternative techniques being effective, and surprisingly little or conflicting evidence in regard to other techniques," said Dr Robert Brook, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan. "These alternative techniques are a neglected stepchild and often not given nearly as much attention or funding for research, and are often not taken as seriously as other approaches."

Two things are clear, he said: The alternative approaches don't appear to be harmful, and they shouldn't be used instead of following a doctor's advice regarding medication.

 
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