The 7 headset that can keep blood pressure low could help thousands of patientsResperate device available on NHS for first time
Alternative to pills The Resperate machine which controls blood pressure by slowing down breathing by playing relaxing music through headphones
A gadget that controls high blood pressure will be available on the NHS for the first time.
The device – which looks like a portable CD player – slows down breathing by playing relaxing music through headphones.
Researchers claim it could help tens of thousands of patients control high blood pressure without having to take endless drugs with unpleasant side effects.
Called the Resperate, it works by
first checking a patient’s breathing via a strap tied around the chest.
It then creates a tune and patients breathe in and out in time with
The music then gradually slows down – as does the patients’ breathing. From today, it will be available for GPs to prescribe to patients at a cost of 7.40 a time.
Experts are cautious and say it should not replace any high blood pressure drugs.
Maker Intercure, however, claims it has helped patients come off their medication.
Patients are advised to use the Resperate for at least 40 minutes a week – four sessions of ten minutes.
Risk: Around 16million Britons have high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes (posed by models)
The average person takes 18 breaths a minute, but to lower pressure you have to take ten or fewer – which is helped by the Resperate.
But experts point out there is no evidence to suggest it could replace medication.
A Blood Pressure Association spokesman said: ‘As with any adjunct therapy, it must not be used as a replacement for any treatments prescribed by a GP.’
Around 16million Britons have high blood pressure. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Many patients are able to control it through diet and exercise but others are forced to take a cocktail of drugs including ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and alpha blockers.
Some can have unpleasant side effects including swollen ankles, dizziness and tiredness.