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The RESPeRATE gadget works by offering the patient automatic feedback on their breathing patterns, and provides a "personalized melody, composed of two distinct inhale and exhale guiding tones". I am sure that this works, as it is uses a few well-known, successful relaxation techniques: guidance on deep, controlled, relaxed breathing, biofeedback, music and guided imagery are all treatment options for reducing stress...but your mom may not need a specialized breathing device to do these things. In fact, there are many inexpensive (and free) methods that she can learn, in order to lower her breathing rate. The ideal breathing rate for a healthy person is 10 breaths per minute. Here is an interesting article about ]]>breathing deep to lower blood pressure]]>. There are many resources online, that teach relaxation techniques:
- Lower High Blood Pressure using Slow Breathing with Music
- Online Relaxation Exercises (please check that these downloads are "virus free"!

Since you asked specifically about RESPeRATE, I would double-check with her doctor, and maybe insurance would cover the cost, but from my understanding, this tool is not likely to cause harm, and if she would not otherwise manager her stress using other techniques, then this may be a great tool for her.

Treatment options for high blood pressure (HBP) are numerous, and depend on what is causing your mom's HBP. Do you know what factors are currently affecting your mom's blood pressure?

Does she currently have a healthy diet and exercise routine? Is she able to manage her stress well? Does she smoke or drink alcohol in excess? If not, these would be areas to try first, and when lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower blood pressure, medication may be necessary.

The data on taking magnesium is inconclusive at best. "A diet rich in magnesium" has been shown to lower blood pressure, but this type of diet includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains...so researchers are unclear if it is the healthy diet, or specifically the magnesium, that is lowering blood pressure.

As with most vitamins and minerals (including Magnesium), the ideal way to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is from natural food sources. Here is a list of magnesium-rich foods from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the RDA for females your mom's age is 320mg/day. If she is still interested in taking a magnesium supplement, it is advised that she be tested for any deficiencies, as supplements may have adverse side effects or drug interactions.

What type of Rx was your mother prescribed?

Let us know if you have any other questions.

July 9, 2009 - 1:41pm


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