Heartfulness Meditation Practices As Complementary Therapy in Modulation of Cardiovascular Response to Stress in Hypertensive Patients


Akhila Sistla, Sharan B Singh, Latheef Kasala, Vanajakshamma Velam


The present study was aimed to study the effect of Heartfulness meditation in modulation of cardiovascular response in hypertensive patients which was done by measuring heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and rate pressure product (RPP) under normal and isometric stress conditions.


Measurements included Pulse pressure (PP), mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) and RPP. Isometric handgrip (IHG) test was used to induce stress conditions. BP and HR were measured under normal and stress conditions. All the patients were made to practice Heartfulness meditation 1 hour / day for 2 months.


There was a statistically significant decrease (p < 0.01) in systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), HR, PP and MABP at end of the study. Before Heartfulness meditation training IHG test produced an increase in all the parameters. However, the increase was significant in SBP, DBP and RPP (After 2 - months of meditation training, IHG test produced more pronounced and statistically significant increase in all the parameters. The resting values of SBP, DBP, HR, PP, MABP and RPP showed statistically significant decrease after 2 - months of meditation practice (p < 0.01). However, statistically significant decrease in response to IHG test at EOS was seen only in SBP, PP and RPP (p < 0.0001 for all the parameters).


Heartfulness meditation practice is an adjunct to pharmacological therapy in hypertension treatment which produces overall relaxation response, reduce BP and HR. It can reduce the myocardial oxygen consumption and decrease the work load on heart. It can also optimise the sympathetic response to stressful stimuli and restores the autonomic regulatory reflex mechanisms in hypertensive patients.