wikiHow to Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music

Slow breathing has been declared a breakthrough in natural blood pressure treatment, yet it still hasn't gained widespread use. Could the $300 price tag on the leading slow breathing device be a reason for skepticism? Now there can no longer be any excuse. This easy and practical guide, refreshingly free of mumbo-jumbo, will show you how to get the benefits of slow breathing on your own using music.


  1. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music Step 1
    Play gentle music (such as classical or rhythm and blues) and get as comfortable and relaxed as possible (think of Oahu).
  2. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music Step 2
    Breathe slowly and deeply (through your nose) but keep to a comfortable rate. A short pause between exhale and inhale phases is normal.
  3. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music Step 3
    Gradually extend your exhale phase until it’s approximately twice the length of your inhale phase. For example, breathe in for 2 seconds, pause, and then exhale for 4 seconds. Do not count or use any kind of timekeeper. The example is only to illustrate the correct pattern.
  4. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music Step 4
    Once you are used to this pattern, gradually slow your rate of breathing. Do not slow to a point of discomfort. If you feel any strain at all, you need to back off. Remember, you must stay relaxed to get the benefits.
  5. Image titled Lower High Blood Pressure Using Slow Breathing with Music Step 5
    Continue for 15 minutes. Repeat 4 or 5 times a week. That’s all it takes.


  • Slow your breathing very gradually over time. Although you generally shouldn't count, you can check your rate now and then at the end of a session. Six to seven breaths per minute is an ideal rate to shoot for but this may take several weeks. And you don't even need to go that far to get the benefits. Clinical trials reveal that breathing as described at less than 10 breaths per minute for 15 minutes a day will lead to lower blood pressure.
  • It may feel awkward at first but it will quickly become second nature. It can also become extremely relaxing and enjoyable, even almost addictive. Many people use slow breathing for these benefits alone.
  • Never try to count your breathing or follow a timekeeper. This is where most forms of breathing instruction go wrong. You can’t relax while counting or focusing on time. If you plant the inhale/exhale ratio of 1 to 2 firmly in your mind, you will be using the right method.
  • Slow breathing requires relaxation to be effective: the more relaxed you are the greater the benefits.
  • If you have headphones, you may find that they focus the music and help insulate you from distracting noises. But you can get good results without them.
  • Slow breathing to music is especially effective. Instead of a timekeeper, the music itself will act as a regulator, and your breathing will automatically adjust to the beat, helping to keep it smooth and regular.
  • For your music choice, classical adagios or larghettos are often ideal, but watch out for those numbers that suddenly explode into the 1812 Overture. Remember, you’re trying to lower your blood pressure! Other types of music that can work equally well are new age or ambient. You could even use chants or an ocean wave CD or anything relaxing with a slow and regular tempo.
  • If you like to do abdominal breathing that's fine, but no particular style of breathing is required for slow breathing to lower blood pressure. Just breathe the way that is most comfortable for you.


  • Don't confuse deep breathing with strenuous breathing. Breathe gently. You don't need to fill your lungs and doing so will only lead to hyperventilation (which will actually raise your blood pressure!). If you ever feel light-headed or winded you need to back off.

Things You'll Need

  • A quiet and comfortable place (your favorite recliner?) and a time when you have at least 15 minutes free of noise and distraction.
  • A piece of music that is very gentle and slow tempo.
  • A timer (optional) - only to signal the end of 15 minutes (not to count with).

Article Info

Categories: Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure