Breathing exercises (hypertension)

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An imbalance in the optimum oxygen/carbon dioxide levels in the body, can result in increased heart rate, and perhaps feelings of other physical sensations. The blood is not being oxygenated sufficiently, signalling stress response to the body, which can be mild to severe. Slow, deep breathing and breathing exercises help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (part of our peripheral nervous system) which helps to regulate our heartbeat, blood flow, digestion, and breathing rhythms.  

Slow, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which decreases the heart rate, dilates blood vessels and reduces overall blood pressure

The following exercises can help with hypertension:

30 second breathing exercises: You can reduce your systolic blood pressure greatly by taking six deep breaths within a 30 second period

  1. Sit still in a quiet place.     Close your eyes and relax fully
  2. Set a timer for 30 seconds
  3. Take 6 deep breaths
  4. Repeat as many times as needed

4-7-8 breathing technique:

In addition to promoting relaxation and triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, the use of this breathing technique can train your body to regularly breathe more deeply. This is beneficial because it promotes better overall oxygenation of the body.

  1. Place the tip of your tongue behind your teeth
  2. Inhale through your nose, counting to four
  3. Hold this breath for a count of seven
  4. Making a whooshing noise, exhale through your mouth for a count of eight
  5. Repeat this sequence three to four more times without resuming normal breathing in between

Music-guided breathing:

Studies show that music-guided breathing is linked to the reduction of blood pressure. There are several free programs on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify.

The narrator guides you through a series of breathing exercises, lulling you into a relaxed state and activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

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