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Over-the-Counter High Blood Pressure Breathing Device Gets Nod of Approval

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Over-the-Counter High Blood Pressure Device

Over-the-Counter High Blood Pressure Breathing Device Gets Nod of Approval

September 24, 2007

By: Jean Johnson for Veins1

RESPeRATE = Paced Breathing = Lowered BP

The literature out on RESPeRATE, a medical device that looks like a portable CD player with headphones, maintains that as the breathing goes, so goes the blood pressure – at least to a certain extent. According to InterCure, the company that was formed in 1994 to sell the medical equipment, RESPeRATE is “interactive device-guided breathing technology [that] capitalizes on the body of scientific patented evidence that certain respiratory exercises can lower blood pressure.”

Take Action
High blood pressure tends to be related to lifestyle. The American Heart Association offers these tips on preventing high blood pressure:
  • Follow a healthy eating pattern
  • Reduce salt and sodium in your diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay physically active
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking
  • Company literature adds that RESPeRATE “helps lower blood pressure naturally by enabling you to quickly harness the power of paced breathing. Scientific evidence has shown that paced breathing, if done effortlessly, can lower blood pressure significantly by relaxing the muscles surrounding constricted blood vessels.”

    “The problem for many people, however, is that proper paced breathing requires years of training and individualized coaching. RESPeRATE makes therapeutic paced breathing easy,” states Benjamin Gavish, PhD, inventor of the device and co-founder of InterCure on the company’s website. “It is the only medical device for high blood pressure treatment using patented Interactive Respiratory Pacing technology. RESPeRATE has been proven to bring you the blood-pressure reducing benefits of paced breathing in weeks.”

    Seven Studies Demonstrate Effectiveness of RESPeRATE

    RESPeRATE just got the green flag waved by two professors of medicine. It took some time, of course. And the device had to demonstrate effectiveness in no less than seven clinical studies, the results of which were published in reputable journals focused on hypertension from 2001 through 2004.

    Good things come to those who wait, though, and in summer 2006, William J. Elliot, MD, PhD, at Rush Medical College and Joseph L. Izzo, Jr., MD vice chair of medical research at the University of Buffalo, NY, co-authored an article for the General Medicine Journal in which they concluded that RESPeRATE is a technology whose time has come.

    ”When I was first introduced to RESPeRATE I was skeptical,” William Elliott, MD told Medical News Today. “But after seven trials, the body of data speaks for itself. I have seen first-hand that as long as patients use the device regularly, blood pressure is reduced with no side effects.”

    Elliot implies that RESPeRATE is not the answer for everybody and cannot necessarily replace other high blood pressure medicines. “Controlling hypertension requires a comprehensive approach,” he stated, “and device-guided breathing provides an additional effective therapeutic modality to offer our patients.”

    How RESPeRATE Works

    Per InterCure’s marketing statement: “RESPeRATE's patented technology gently relaxes constricted blood vessels to lower high blood pressure naturally. And all you have to do is breathe. Just 15 minutes of RESPeRATE's paced breathing a few times a week, and you'll see a significant, lasting reduction in your blood pressure within four to six weeks.”

    Furthermore, RESPeRATE has a breathing sensor that analyzes the patient’s breathing pattern and creates a tailored melody that soothingly guides him or her through inhalation and exhalation. In addition to listening to your own breathing pattern marked off by a melody of tones, patients on the competitive side might enjoy seeing how much they can decrease the number of breaths they take per minute. “By gradually prolonging the exhalation tone to slow your breathing, RESPeRATE leads you to the therapeutic zone of less than 10 breaths per minute. Within a few minutes, the muscles surrounding the small blood vessels in your body relax, blood flows more freely, and your blood pressure is significantly reduced.”

    If all this sounds too good to be true – given that normal respirations run from 15 to 20 breaths per minute – InterCure also points out that the effects are not simply short term. Although your breathing returns to normal after use, there is a beneficial impact on blood pressure over time. Within four to six weeks, a lasting reduction will occur.

    This technology has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; “as shown in seven clinical trails, RESPeRATE can lower blood pressure by up to 36 points systolic and 20 points diastolic (top 10 percent reductions), with average reductions of 14/8 points.”

    Who Can Benefit From RESPeRATE

    Elliot and Izzo report that evidence from the clinical studies indicates that RESPeRATE is effective in patients whose blood pressure problems are either in early stages or in those whose hypertension fluctuates according to emotional stress.

    A second group that has been shown to benefit particularly is that in which only the systolic, or higher reading, is elevated. Finally, data showed that patients with conditions termed ‘resistant hypertension’ who don’t respond to diuretics and are taking at least two other medications at the highest possible doses, were able to lower their blood pressure readings with regular use of RESPeRATE.

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