A Mini-Experiment (Meditation and Blood Pressure)

This morning I went for my bi-annual physical. The first thing that the doctor’s assistant did after having me stand on the scale (a blood-pressure elevating activity out of habit), was take my blood pressure. It was on the low end of normal, as usual for me.

In the middle of the exam, after having intimate discussions about tratment to alleviate suffering vs. treatment for longevity, and similar topics, my doctor took my blood pressure again. No surprise: it was higher than it had been when I irst walked into the exam room.

When we were just about done, my doctor said, “let’s see if we can lower that blood pressure. Close your eyes and relax.” “Relax” can be a hard command to obey. Instead, I went right to where I go in meditation, softening to my mantra. In less than a minute, my blood pressure was lower than it had been at the start of the exam. “A beauty of meditation,” I said. “Yes,” my doctor replied (who is a very traditional western medical practitioner, “I wish I could get all my patients with high blood pressure to meditate.”

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