Vol 25, No 2 (2021)
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Published online: 2021-06-15

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Immediate effect of trataka on blood pressure indices in individuals with primary hypertension — a randomized controlled trial

A S Kusuma1, Nandeesh N S1, Shivaprasad Shetty1, Prashanth Shetty1
Arterial Hypertension 2021;25(2):82-87.


Background and Objectives: Hypertension control remains a major global challenge. Behavioral approaches recommended for blood pressure (BP) reduction include: stress reduction, increased exercise and healthy dietary habits. Some study findings suggest that yoga exerts beneficial cardiovascular effects including blood pressure alterations. This study was done to assess the effect of trataka, a yogic cleansing technique, on blood pressure and heart rate variables in patients with hypertension and thereby substantiate the clinical understanding of its effect on blood pressure.

Material and methods: A total of 60 subjects with primary hypertension (age 25–45 years) were randomized to the study. The yoga group practiced trataka for 30 minutes with guided instructions and the control group was asked to sit calmly for 30 minutes. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded before and after the practice.

Results: The individuals who practiced trataka showed significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.05), mean heart rate (HR) (p < 0.05), and mean RR (p < 0.05) after the procedure. There were no significant changes observed in the control group as compared to the yoga group.

Conclusion: The practice of trataka leads to significant reduction in blood pressure and heart rate in patients with primary hypertensive. Though trataka is considered as a cleansing technique, it induces calmness similar to a mental state during meditation. Evidently, both techniques bear the potential to reduce stress and, henceforth, blood pressure and heart rate.

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