High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre-hypertension", and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high.

The top number, the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood forward into the arteries. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction. The diastolic pressure reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.

An elevation of the systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure increases the risk of developing heart (cardiac) disease, kidney (renal) disease, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis), eye damage, and stroke (brain damage). These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic (long duration) high blood pressure. For that reason, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure and prevent complications.

It was previously thought that rises in diastolic blood pressure were a more important risk factor than systolic elevations, but it is now known that in people 50 years or older systolic hypertension represents a greater risk.

Benefits of meditation in Hypertension

Medical Research conducted by physiology department of the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India and Sucheta Kripalani Hospital on varied groups of individual Sahaja-Yoga meditators has revealed that the practice of Sahaja Yoga is accompanied by a decrease in tension, stress, anxiety, depression and hypertension.

These studies were conducted upon 10 people in the age group of 35 to 50. They were from the department of Physiology and had no previous training in any form of yoga, meditation. They were given two days training by a qualified Sahaja Yoga teacher in the physiology department. Thereafter they practiced it 20 minutes daily, for a few weeks, under the watchful eyes of the tutor

At fixed intervals doctors studied the effect of Sahaja Yoga on the heart rate, blood pressure, the level of the blood lactic acid, VMA in urine, which indicates secretion of adrenalin by the body and the galvanic skin resistance (GSR), which shows whether the patients were tensed or relaxed. All 10 were patients of hypertension; some of them were on drugs. As the Sahaja Yoga practice progressed, the medicines were reduced and finally stopped. In the 12 weeks the diastolic blood pressure dropped from the 100 to 80 and the adrenalin flow, also dropped. The GSR in the group changed from 43.9 kohms to 164.7 kohms; Mean level being 103.9 kohms

Many people practicing Sahaja Yoga Meditation regularly had already reported empirically what has now been confirmed by medical research. The outcomes of the research have shown that practice of Sahaja Yoga has had various healing effects on the mind and body leading to improvements in quality of life. Various other benefits of Sahaja Yoga on all living things including plant growth etc are being considerably researched around the globe