High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a prevalent and concerning health issue affecting 46.7% of U.S. adults. While medication is often prescribed to manage blood pressure, research reveals a natural way to lower blood pressure quickly: Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST).

Studies conducted at the University of Colorado indicate that this innovative approach not only lowers blood pressure effectively but also reduces the risk of heart attacks. Furthermore, they show that the effects are rapid (with initial reductions in blood pressure occurring within 2 weeks) and that blood pressure is reduced similarly in everyone, regardless of age, sex, body weight, etc.

Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training Device

The University of Colorado research used the electronic POWERbreathe K3 device for inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST). This natural home remedy has shown significant promise in reducing high blood pressure levels. Findings also show POWERbreathe IMST to be safe and tolerable.

Think of the IMST device as a piece of exercise equipment that is designed to strengthen your breathing muscles but with a side effect that helps to lower blood pressure.

Research Backs POWERbreathe IMST

Featured in NPR’s Morning Edition of Shots Health News, Allison Aubrey’s article “Daily ‘breath training’ can work as well as medicine to reduce high blood pressure,” highlights the findings supporting the efficacy of POWERbreathe IMST.

Daily ‘breath training’ can work as well as medicine to reduce high blood pressure (4-minute listen)

Lower Blood Pressure Quickly

One of the key findings of the research is that just 30 breaths of POWERbreathe IMST (about five minutes) will lower blood pressure. In fact, findings show that about 5 minutes of IMST lowers blood pressure as much as aerobic exercise and more than some medications. Crucially, researchers report significant drops in blood pressure and improvements in large-artery function.

Understanding IMST

IMST (inspiratory muscle strength training) specifically targets the muscles involved in inhalation. Unlike traditional Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), which focuses on enhancing inspiratory muscle strength and stamina with twice-daily sessions, IMST employs a more rigorous and challenging protocol to maximize inspiratory muscle strength.

The Appeal of Natural Remedies

In today’s health-conscious society, there’s a growing interest in natural remedies for managing health conditions like hypertension. IMST, with its reliance on deep breathing techniques to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, offers a safe and effective method for lowering blood pressure without relying solely on medication.

Natural Blood Pressure Management

Thirty breaths of POWERbreathe IMST, lasting approximately five minutes, significantly lowers blood pressure and improves arterial function. This method rivals aerobic exercise and certain medications in efficacy while offering a safe and tolerable means of blood pressure management.

How POWERbreathe IMST Works

POWERbreathe IMST involves 30 inspiratory manoeuvres using the POWERbreathe K3 device, lasting approximately five minutes.

IMST Protocol To Lower Blood Pressure

  • 5 sets of 6 inspiratory breaths
  • 1-minute rest between sets
  • 6 days per week
  • For 6 weeks

Subjects in the IMST group trained at:

  • 55% PIMAX during week 1
  • 65% PIMAX during week 2
  • 75% PIMAX during weeks 3 to 6

PIMAX stands for ‘maximal inspiratory pressure’ and is a measure of inspiratory muscle strength.

Basically, in order to achieve results similar to those found in the research, you will need to train your inhalation to become much greater than you’ll ever experience during normal daily life or exercise. This is why the IMST protocol for lowering blood pressure is challenging.

How To Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally At Home

Lower Blood Pressure With POWERbreathe IMST

Choosing the Right Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training Device

Participants in the IMST studies utilized the POWERbreathe K3 device for six weeks, gradually increasing training intensity from 55% to 75% of maximal inspiratory pressure (PIMAX ). For those seeking a more affordable option, the POWERbreathe Plus MR provides a viable alternative without compromising on effectiveness.

The electronic POWERbreathe K3 works out your percentage of PIMAX for you, using the S-Index® test.

The alternative device that Daniel Craighead suggests must reach a resistance of at least 100 cmH20, to see the benefit. Because of this, he recommends the POWERbreathe Plus. And, because we know our products best, we recommend specifically the POWERbreathe Plus MR (Medium Resistance). Although it is not possible to perform a ‘maximal inspiratory pressure’, or MIP test to work out PIMAX on a POWERbreathe Plus IMT breathing trainer, you are still able to work this out – approximately.

Simply wind up the resistance on your manually adjustable POWERbreathe Plus IMT device, until you can just about take a full breath in. Treat this as your maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). Then, look at the scale on your device to check the training level that you have achieved. You can then work out your percentages from that number, using Table 1 below.

For example, if you can just about take a full breath in on Level 3 of the Plus Medium Resistance (i.e. 72cmH2O as shown in Table 1 ), then work out what 55% of 72 is. It is 39.6. Referring back to the Table below, you will see that 39cmH2O on the POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance model is Level 1. This is the level you should be training at during week 1.

POWERbreathe Plus Load Selection Range Table
Table 1: POWERbreathe Plus Load Selection Range

Health Benefits Beyond Blood Pressure

In addition to lowering blood pressure, IMST has been shown to enhance vascular health, cognitive function and memory tests while also keeping heart rate and oxygen consumption lower during exercise. Consequently, IMST demonstrates an increase in exercise tolerance and sports performance too.

Future Prospects

Ongoing research continues to explore the long-term effects of IMST, including its potential for sustained blood pressure reduction beyond the training period. Furthermore, Translational Potential of High-Resistance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training looks at the efficacy of high-resistance POWERbreathe IMST for improving cardiovascular function in other at-risk populations.


Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST), facilitated by the POWERbreathe K3, represents a promising avenue for naturally lowering blood pressure and improving overall cardiovascular health. As research progresses, IMST’s full potential in promoting heart health and well-being will become increasingly evident, offering individuals a natural and effective means of managing hypertension.

Source: A multi-trial, retrospective analysis of the antihypertensive effects of high-resistance, low-volume inspiratory muscle strength training

“Finally… results provide support for high‐resistance IMST as a promising lifestyle intervention for improving cardiovascular function and possibly decreasing the risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease] and other clinical disorders, such as cognitive dysfunction and chronic kidney disease.”


More About POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT)

In addition to using POWERbreathe IMST to help lower blood pressure, the IMT training protocol of just 30 breaths twice a day is already scientifically proven to improve inspiratory muscle strength and stamina and reduce breathing fatigue. This is beneficial in sport and fitness, health and lifestyle, as well as for those in the performing arts.