Latest scientific research and applications of Transcendental Meditation
HERE ARE some remarkable recent scientific research results showing the unique benefits of Transcendental Meditation:
Google www.tm.org/blog/research/transcending-and-the-brain/ for a summary of a paper delivered to the New York Academy of Sciences by Dr Fred Travis, clearly distinguishing Transcendental Meditation from other meditation techniques. For one thing, transcending is virtually unknown outside Transcendental Meditation! To read and download the complete paper, access the blog and click on the first words - "article published 13 January".
Weighty support for Transcendental Meditation:
The American Heart Association, having carried out the biggest-ever meta-study of research on different methods of meditation, has cited Transcendental Meditation as the only meditation that it recommends in the treatment of heart disease.
See Joint Press Release below, issued by AHA and TM/USA:
Summary of American Heart Association's evaluation
of Transcendental Meditation, April 2013
According to the American Heart Association, the Transcendental Meditation technique is the only meditation practice that has been shown to lower blood pressure. Their recent scientific statement* reports, “Because of many negative studies or mixed results and a paucity of available trials, all other meditation techniques (including MBSR**) received a 'Class III, no benefit, Level of Evidence C' recommendation. Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended in clinical practice to lower BP at this time.”
The AHA scientific statement also reported the finding that lower blood pressure through Transcendental Meditation practice is associated with substantially reduced rates of death, heart attack and stroke.
The AHA statement concludes that alternative treatments that include the Transcendental Meditation technique are recommended for consideration in treatment plans for all individuals with blood pressure > 120/80 mm Hg.
* Brook RD et al., Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension, 61:00, April 2013.
** MBSR = Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
For more information, see online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130501-909027.html
The AHA's evaluation followed US Government sponsored research by the Medical College of Wisconsin, USA, showing that heart disease patients who learn Transcendental Meditation have 47 per cent lower rates of heart attack, stroke and death.
The research, a nine-year randomised controlled trial with 201 participants, was sponsored by a $3.8m grant from the Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes of the US National Institutes of Health.
Dr Norman Rosenthal, for 20 years a senior researcher at the US National Institutes of Mental Health, best known for his description of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression, said after the announcement of the research findings at the annual conference of the American Heart Association in Orlando:
“If this kind of result was observed for a new prescription drug, it would be a billion-dollar industry to make it available to everyone immediately
AND .. Here is a link to a study showing that United States war veterans halved their symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder after practising Transcendental Meditation for eight weeks. So think what it could do for you ..
And, by the way ..
Transcendental Meditation activates default mode network, the brain's natural ground state
Credit: Cognitive Processing, Volume 11 (2010), Issue 1
A new EEG study conducted on college students at American University found they could more highly activate the default mode network, a suggested natural "ground state" of the brain, during their practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. This three-month randomized control study is published in a special issue of "Cognitive Processing" dedicated to the Neuroscience of Meditation and Consciousness, Volume 11, Number 1, February, 2010.
Specifically, the study found the TM technique:
- Produces a unique state of "restful alertness," as seen in the markedly higher alpha power in the frontal cortex and lower beta and gamma waves in the same frontal areas during TM practice.
- Creates greater alpha coherence between the left and right hemispheres of the brain suggesting the brain is working as a whole.
- Enhances an individual's sense of "self" by activating what neuroscientists call the "default mode network" in the brain. (This is considered the natural ground state of the brain, glimpsed by neuroscientists during eyes-closed rest but more fully activated during Transcendental Meditation practice.)
"The finding of significant brain wave differences between students practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique and those simply resting with their eyes closed is especially convincing because subjects were randomly assigned to conditions, and testing was conducted by a researcher unaware of the experimental condition to which the subject had been assigned," said David Haaga, Ph.D., coauthor and professor of psychology at American University.
"Research has already shown that simply closing one's eyes and relaxing increases the default mode. A significant additional finding of this new study is that activity in the default mode increases during TM compared to simple eyes-closed rest," said Fred Travis, Ph.D., lead author and director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. "Different meditation techniques entail various degrees of cognitive control. Thus, activation patterns of the default mode network could give insight into the nature of meditation practices."
Previous published research, funded by the NIH, shows TM practice decreases high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, cholesterol, stroke, and heart failure.
Summary provided by Maharishi University of Management.
For editorial use:
CONTACT & LINKS:
John Windsor can be contacted on (01629-823987)
Further relevant research on Transcendental Meditation:
Lower Blood Pressure
Alexander C.N., et al. Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and longevity: An experimental study with the elderly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57:950-964, 1989.
Alexander C.N., et al. Trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans (part II): sex and risk subgroup analysis. Hypertension 28:228-237, 1996.
Anderson J.W., et al. Blood pressure response to Transcendental Meditation: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Hypertension 21 (3): 310-6, 2008.
Barnes V.A., et al. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African-American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension 17: 366-369, 2004.
Barnes V. A., et al. Stress, stress reduction, and hypertension in African Americans. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89, 464-476, 1997.
Barnes V. A., et al. (1999). Acute effects of Transcendental Meditation on hemodynamic functioning in middle-aged adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61, 88, 525-531.
Rainforth M.V., et al. Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports 9:520–528, 2007. Full article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2268875&blobtype=pdf>
Schneider R.H., et al. A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction in the treatment of hypertension in African Americans during one year. American Journal of Hypertension 18(1): 88-98, 2005. Full article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2224896&blobtype=pdf>
Schneider R.H., et al. Long-term effects of stress reduction on mortality in persons ≥ 55 years of age with systemic hypertension. American Journal of Cardiology 95:1060-1064, 2005. Full Article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1482831&blobtype=pdf>
Schneider R.H., et al. A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans. Hypertension 26: 820-827, 1995.
Castillo-Richmond A., et al. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on carotid atherosclerosis in hypertensive African Americans, Stroke 31: 568-573, 2000. Full article <http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/31/3/568.pdf%20>
Cooper M. J., et al. Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Human Stress 5(4): 24–27, 1979.
Cooper M. J. and Aygen M. M. Effect of Transcendental Meditation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Harefuah, Journal of the Israel Medical Association 95(1): 1-2, 1978.
Reduced Congestive Heart Failure
Jayadevappa R., et al. Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on functional capacity and quality of life of African Americans with congestive heart failure: a randomized control study. Ethnicity and Disease 17: 72-77, 2007. Full Article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2048830&blobtype=pdf>
Decreased Free Radicals
Schneider R.H., et al. Lower lipid peroxide levels and practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program. Psychosomatic Medicine 60: 38-41, 1998.
Van Wijk E.P.A., et al. Anatomical characterization of human ultraweak photon emission in practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and control subjects. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12:31-38, 1998.
Van Wijk E.P.A., et al. Differential Effects of Relaxation Techniques on Ultraweak Photon Emission. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 14:241-250, 2008.
Reduced Metabolic Syndrome/Pre-Diabetes
Paul-Labrador M., et al. Effects of randomized controlled trial of Transcendental Meditation on components of the metabolic syndrome in subjects with coronary heart disease. Archives of Internal Medicine 166:1218-1224, 2006. Full article <http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/166/11/1218.pdf>
Review Papers on Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Factors
Alexander C.N., et al. Effects of Transcendental Meditation compared to other methods of relaxation and meditation in reducing risk factors, morbidity and mortality. Homeostasis 35:243-264, 1994.
Barnes V.A., and Orme-Johnson D. W. Clinical and Pre-clinical Applications of the Transcendental Meditation Program® in the Prevention and Treatment of Essential Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease in Youth and Adults: A Research Review. Current Hypertension Reviews 2:207-218, 2006.
Schneider R.H., et al. Cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion with the Transcendental Meditation program and Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care. Ethnicity and Disease 16 (3 Suppl 4):S4-15-26, 2006. Full article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2267926&blobtype=pdf>
Walton K.G., et al. Review of controlled clinical research on the Transcendental Meditation program and cardiovascular disease: Risk factors, morbidity, and mortality. Cardiology in Review 12(5): 262-266, 2004. Full article <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2211376&blobtype=pdf>
Walton K.G., et al. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease, Part 2: Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in treatment and prevention. Behavioral Medicine 28: 106-123, 2002.