Meditation and Enhanced Cardiovascular/Circulatory Function


Meditation and Enhanced Cardiovascular/Circulatory Function


Meditation has a broad impact on human physiology and consistent practice of this technique can also positively influence our cardiovascular/circulatory system. The cumulative effects of meditation on both our nervous system as well as the cardiovascular system can substantially impact human physiology for better health. In this article, we will dissect the positive effects of meditation particularly on the cardiovascular system.



What are the primary functions of the cardiovascular system?


The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart, blood vessels and blood. The goal of this system is to provide nutrients to all the cells within the body, circulate oxygen, remove carbon dioxide, remove metabolic waste products and direct them for disposal. Disturbance in any one of those functions can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVDs are the leading cause of death around the world [1] and there is significant evidence that points to psychosocial stress that contributes to its onset and progression [2]. Latest research suggests that the mind-calming effects of meditation can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.


Why it’s important to practice meditation for cardiovascular health?


The practice of meditation evokes a relaxation response and calms the mind. A calm mind in turn calms the entire body. This practice supports heart function in many ways. Through meditation, a better ability to cope with stress can significantly reduce blood pressure and promote improved heart health. A healthy heart pushes more blood in a single beat. The heart is, therefore, more efficient at distributing nutrients to the body including the brain.

Studies show that high levels of cortisol from chronic stress can increase cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar as well as blood pressure. Stress can also increase the oxygen demand on the body, leading to electrical instability in the heart’s conduction system. Overall, the heart will have to work much harder to have the blood flow necessary to feed the entire body. Eventually, as a result of this inefficiency, the heart muscle can fatigue leading to cardiac dysfunction. By evoking the relaxation response, meditation has a profound effect on improving heart health. Regular practice can allow you to have an improved attitude toward life. Such a positive outlook will in turn inspire you to maintain heart-healthy behaviours such as a healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep.


How meditation has a positive impact on cardiovascular health?


It is important to understand that there is more to heart health than drugs and exercise. What goes on in the brain such as stressful repetitive thoughts can profoundly impact heart health. By training the mind through regular meditation, one can protect against heart diseases. So alongside, exercise, nutrition and medication, mental health is a major component of a healthy cardiovascular system.

Scientific literature demonstrates that meditation allows the heart and lung function to be synchronised so that the lungs can effectively oxygenate the blood, and the heart can then distribute that blood to the whole body as soon as possible. Such synchronised action between the heart and lungs is necessary for good health [3]. Observational studies indicate that even apparently distinct meditative practices induce similar effects on cardiac physiology [4]. Evidence from randomised control trials also suggests that meditative techniques can reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors [5] .

These data suggest that regular practice of meditation can lead to clinically meaningful effects on lowering blood pressure.  Evidence suggests that systolic (phase of the heart beath when heart muscle contracts) and diastolic (when heart muscle relaxes) blood pressure can be reduced by approximately 4.7- and 3.2-mm Hg, respectively [6] [7]. Meditation is now recognised to be yet another powerful technique to improve heart health.


I hope you found this article on The Positive impact of meditation on human physiology as fascinating as I do. My aim is that it’s provided you with valuable insights into just how powerful meditation is at holistically healing the body and mind, and reducing the risk of psychosomatic stress-related diseases.


If you would like to learn more about becoming a Transformational Meditation Teacher so you can facilitate deep holistic healing for yourself and your clients, I invite you to book a complimentary strategy call.

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1. Go, A.S., et al., Heart disease and stroke statistics–2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2013. 127(1): p. e6-e245.
2. Wirtz, P.H. and R. von Känel, Psychological Stress, Inflammation, and Coronary Heart Disease. Curr Cardiol Rep, 2017. 19(11): p. 111.
3. Mohan, M., et al., Effect of yoga type breathing on heart rate and cardiac axis of normal subjects. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 1986. 30(4): p. 334-40.
4. Peng, C.K., et al., Heart rate dynamics during three forms of meditation. Int J Cardiol, 2004. 95(1): p. 19-27.
5. Schneider, R.H., et al., Stress reduction in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: randomized, controlled trial of transcendental meditation and health education in Blacks. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes, 2012. 5(6): p. 750-8.
6. Anderson, J.W., C. Liu, and R.J. Kryscio, Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: a meta-analysis. Am J Hypertens, 2008. 21(3): p. 310-6.
7. Alexander, C.N., et al., Trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans. II. Sex and risk subgroup analysis. Hypertension, 1996. 28(2): p. 228-37.

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