Blood Pressure: Can a machine conrol my blood pressure?

I have seen adverts for a machine that apparently reduces blood pressure by controlling one's breathing rate, working on a sort of bio-feedback system. I have been prescribed tablets for high blood pressure, but I would prefer a non-drug solution. Does this machine work?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

One natural method of reducing blood pressure that seems to work for some people involves slowing down the rate of breathing. Israeli doctors have shown that people who treat themselves at home with a device that slows down and regularises their breathing pattern can reduce their blood pressure over a period of about two months. One of the problems with all bio-feedback systems (and drugs too), is that they only work when you use them. Many people who have initial success with bio-feedback systems gradually stop using them, because they require time and dedication. I think it's worth trying, but it will require discipline.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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