Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

Insights and discussion from the cutting edge with reference to journal articles and other research papers.
Family Tree Guy
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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NewRon wrote:With paying out $60 for the Power Breathe, why not pay another $20-30 for a simple BP device? Everyone should have one...as well as a blood glucose machine, I think!
that's a good idea, I just never really thought of it. thanks for the suggestion!
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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floramaria wrote:
Family Tree Guy wrote:Next month my workplace has the annual health fair / flu shot / blood test thing, and I always do that. So I can report back to see if there is any change in my BP.
Yes, please do report back and let us know.
Results are in! I had no idea that a blood pressure monitor on Amazon was so inexpensive, so I ordered one a few days ago and have data to share.

The paper (DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.121.020980) reports that using an inspiratory muscle strength training device, people with slightly elevated systolic blood pressure (that 1st number) lowered it on average ~9 points after a 6 week training program. I have read a lot about how even slightly elevated blood pressure may increase Alzheimer’s risk, so I thought I would give this a try.

I ordered the medium Powerbreathe device (this is what the website recommends for an otherwise healthy person who exercises some). It has a little dial that you spin to ‘tighten’ some mechanism, which makes it increasingly difficult to suck air through. Scale goes from 0 to 10.

The paper’s protocol is to do 5 sets of 6 breath repetitions (30 total breaths) six days per week for six weeks. The paper reports some hard to replicate at home calculations for maximum breath strength setting and their protocol for increasing the difficulty over the time period. I just started at what seemed like a reasonable level, and slowly increased the difficulty over time. I have been doing this since beginning of July, so just over 3.5 months. I started at setting 3.1. I am now at setting 8.4. Note that I have been increasing the tension much more slowly as the numbers have increased. (for the past month I only increase it maybe 1 click per 5-7 days. Although I have forgotten a few days, I mostly do it 7 days per week.

From my records (annual workplace health fair) my prior 5 years of BP readings were as follows:
120/80, 122/62, 122/84, 121/79, 122/74.

After the 3.5 months of inspiratory muscle strength training, I took my BP last night, and again this morning:
108/76 (last night), 103/76 (this morning).

Conclusion: my results are consistent with the published research. This type of training sure seems to lower your systolic blood pressure quite noticeably!
Family Tree Guy
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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NewRon wrote:With paying out $60 for the Power Breathe, why not pay another $20-30 for a simple BP device? Everyone should have one...as well as a blood glucose machine, I think!

I ordered a BP monitor from Amazon and reported my results on post below. thanks for suggestion!
NewRon
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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Wow, great result!!!

Guess what I'm getting for Christmas (and it's not a BP monitor!).
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SusanJ
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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I just ordered a medium POWERbreathe to try. My hubs could benefit from it, too, since he has high BP and takes meds. We'll see what happens.
Last edited by SusanJ on Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SusanJ
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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Here's another paper on this training. It used the POWERbreathe, but the $499 one. Craighead is quoted on their site as saying the Medium will work fine.

Time‐Efficient Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Endothelial Function, NO Bioavailability, and Oxidative Stress in Midlife/Older Adults With Above‐Normal Blood Pressure (2021)
Casual systolic blood pressure decreased from 135±2 mm Hg to 126±3 mm Hg (P<0.01) with IMST, which was ≈75% sustained 6 weeks after IMST (P<0.01), whereas IMST modestly decreased casual diastolic blood pressure (79±2 mm Hg to 77±2 mm Hg, P=0.03);
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10 ... 121.020980
Family Tree Guy
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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SusanJ wrote:I just ordered a medium POWERbreathe to try. My hubs could benefit from it, too, since he has high BP and takes meds. We'll see what happens.
Note the protocol in the paper is 5 sets X 6 reps (30 total breaths) with 1 minute rest between sets. I admit that I routinely 'cheat' and rest more like 1.5 minutes between sets and so probably not necessary to sweat every little detail. start with a low setting, and very gradually increase it over time. One other tip is that I lost the little nose pincher that came with my device, and found that it works quite well to just pinch my nostrils closed with my fingers.

As I have gotten to the higher resistance levels, I genuinely feel muscles in the area surrounding my ribs and lungs getting a workout.

happy breathing!
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Re: Respiratory Trainers for Blood Pressure Reduction

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Family Tree Guy wrote: Note the protocol in the paper is 5 sets X 6 reps (30 total breaths) with 1 minute rest between sets. I admit that I routinely 'cheat' and rest more like 1.5 minutes between sets and so probably not necessary to sweat every little detail. start with a low setting, and very gradually increase it over time. One other tip is that I lost the little nose pincher that came with my device, and found that it works quite well to just pinch my nostrils closed with my fingers.

As I have gotten to the higher resistance levels, I genuinely feel muscles in the area surrounding my ribs and lungs getting a workout.

happy breathing!
Thanks for the tips!
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