Transcendental Meditation Turns On Body’s Pharmacy, Lowers Heart Attack Risk: Robert Schneider Study
Transcendental meditation (TM) has been found to be good for the heart, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Research study reported results that showed that African Americans with heart disease had a 48% lower risk of having a heart attack if they practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly. The benefits of TM was not limited to reduced risk of heart attack, but it was noted that practicing meditation lowered blood pressure, reduced stress and even anger. The research team from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee also reported that the more regularly meditation was practiced the higher was the survival.
Robert Schneider, M.D, lead author, researcher and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa said to the media,
We hypothesized that reducing stress by managing the mind-body connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease. It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy — to repair and maintain itself.
What did the study involve?
- 201 people were randomly picked to participate in a TM stress-reducing program /health education class on lifestyle modification through diet and exercise
- 42% of participants were women with an average age of 59
- Participants had a body mass index of about 32, which is considered to be clinically obese
- Meditation group sat with eyes closed for 20 minutes twice a day practicing TM.
- The health education group was instructed by professional health educators to spend 20 minutes every day practicing heart healthy exercises, meal preparations and other non-specific relaxation techniques.
- Participants were evaluated every 3months, then every 6 months and thereafter for BMI, diet, program adherence, blood pressure, and cardiovascular hospitalizations for nine years.
- Results of the study included:
- TM group showed reduction in blood pressure by 5mm Hg. Anger reduction was also observed in this group.
- Regular practice of TM was related with reduced death, heart attack, and stroke.
The study was a collaboration between Maharishi University of Management and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The researchers have taken extra precautions to make the study scientifically rigorous, leaving no room for skeptics.
Findings are phenomenal. However, it remains to be seen this research would pave the way for TM to become a part of heart disease care. Nevertheless, doctors can discuss the practice with their patients.