May 03, 2007

Don't Just Breathe, RESPeRATE!

May is apparently National High Blood Pressure Education Awareness Month (yee-hah!) and high blood pressure is a well-known Bad Thing. So when Crabby heard there was a relatively new treatment for it that didn't involve drugs and actually seemed to help, she felt compelled to investigate.

Have any of you seen the ads for RESPeRATE? That's actually how they spell it, too, with all that bizarre capitalization. It's a product based on some actual research that says slowing down your breathing to less than ten times a minute, for sessions of about 15 minutes at a time, can lower your blood pressure 10-15 points.

The machine straps around your middle (at least as far as Crabby can tell) and then makes little chiming sounds to get you breathing in the right rhythm.

So don't delay! Run right out now and plunk down about $300 to get it!

Or... um, maybe you could just remember to set aside time to slow your breathing down to less than ten times a minute?

There's even a nice little how-to guide here that's free.

Now the RESPeRATE folks say that their gizmo involves less effort than do-it-yourself methods and therefore works better. Could be true, but Crabby didn't see any convincing evidence of this. (She has to confess she didn't read every word on their site, so if she missed that part and someone wants to correct her she will gladly apologize).

And Crabby isn't saying that it's stupid to buy one of these things. If you are (a) busy and (b) rich, this could be a great motivational tool. You buy it, then you figure you better use it 'cause you paid 300 bucks for it.

Who knows, Crabby may even find herself tempted some day. She's a sucker for health and fitness gadgets and gear, and she'll be sharing some of her favorites with you in future posts.

Feel free, dear readers, to weigh in with anything about blood pressure, breathing (for it? against it?), gadgets, The State of The World in General, or Any Damn Thing At All. Or give yourself a break and don't say anything. You've all been so charitable with your comments; Crabby must be wearing you out by posting so regularly. Sometimes you get to just come here and read and then go home again, to a dry martini or a nice hot bath or a cream-filled apple donut.


  1. YOGA!! We do that in Yoga. Breathing deeply and slowly does everything from lower you blood pressure to helping you skin. It is a good machine to help get the breathing slowed down but, in yoga you can just listen to slow music and that will do the same thing. You could probably have pretty good results from a quite place and an MP3 player.

  2. Ha, I'd better not go near one of those RESPeRATE thingies. I already have very low blood pressure -- in fact, last time I had a checkup my doctor looked at me as though she couldn't quite believe I was actually alive, LOL. But my BP always been that way; I get it from my mom -- she, too, has the blood pressure of a zombie. ;-D

    So that means I load up on salt whenever and wherever I'm so inclined... yeah, bad TL... ;-D

  3. Same here thomma lyn. High blood pressure runs on my Dad's side so maybe that will bring it up to a normal level.

    Crabby! Love your blog. I'm going to try the weight lifting they.

  4. Well let me say that I'm all for blood pressure. Everyone should have it. And I'm fond of breathing. I've got a wee bit of asthma so I can speak from experience that continued breathing is my preferred option.
    As for this RESPeRate thingy, well, we live in world where gadgets rule. It'll sell.
    I take exception to point made on the link about not counting during slow breathing. Counting your breaths forces you to focus and can help to induce a light hypnotic (alpha) state. If you don't have any relaxing music around to do your slow breathing to, then counting is a good way to go.
    The relaxing music and slow breathing is also inducing an alpha state. They don't mention that 'cuz it'll scare folk.

  5. Oh my goodness, what intelligent comments! And I told you all you could take a break (but am so glad you didn't take me up on it).

    Samantha--good point about the yoga. Great for blood pressure. (However, it will take more than your excellent salesmanship to get Crabby on a mat doing the Downward Dog any time soon. She is For It in principle but comfortably stuck in her own routines).

    Thomma Lyn--I'm so jealous! Mine is usually low enough to be just barely okay but when under stress I go a bit over where I'm supposed to be. So I have to watch the salt and remember to breathe.

    Rosemerry--way to go on weight lifting! (It really is worth doing ). You may want to get some Gym Rat or trainer to walk you through to start off with and go easy at first. Or check out Martha's article in the above post for some alternatives.

    And Leah--
    Man, asthma scares me. The not breathing thing--terrifying. Don't have it, fortunately, but sympathize with anyone who does.
    And that's reassuring about the counting. And alpha--I love alpha. I would love to move to the state of Alpha where life is all pleasant and drifty.


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