The unique state of restful alertness produced during TM practice dissolves stress and fatigue, promoting balanced functioning of mind and body, improving students' ability to function successfully in school.
by Global Good News staff writer
3 July 2010
The December 2009 issue of American Journal of Hypertension published a research study that was conducted at American University in Washington, DC, USA, to monitor the effects of Transcendental Meditation for university students.
Dr Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, and one of the senior investigators on this project, speaks about the results of this study in an interview featured on the Transcendental Meditation website.
Dr Travis reported that at they looked at students in a random assignment design to see what is the effect of Transcendental Meditation on these students' experience during a semester at college.
‘We looked at the beginning of the semester, and then we looked at the end of the semester—just before finals when there was highest pressure and highest tension,’ Dr Travis said.
Two and a half months of Transcendental Meditation practice provided a buffer for the students of the stress of college.
It was found that the students practising Transcendental Meditation were able to respond less to stressful stimulus. ‘If they respond more to the stressful stimulus, as we found in the non-meditating control groups, that is associated with being more anxious, more worried, less able to keep the attention on task,’ Dr Travis explained.
‘We also found that Transcendental Meditation practice allowed the students to be more awake. They had less chances of dozing in different situations. And sleepiness is the greatest enemy to learning. When you sleep the frontal lobes go off-line and you can’t take in information.’
The researchers discovered that the brain functioning was fundamentally changed. ‘We found that the frontal areas, that part of your brain which is the executive processing part of the brain, was more coherent,’ Dr Travis continued. ‘It showed greater coordination of the executive system.’
The brain had more diffuse alpha activity during tasks, which, Dr Travis said, is an indication of greater inner directedness of activity—students were ‘less absorbed in the outer details, the fragmented parts of experience.’
It was also found that the brain began to call up resources as they were needed, as the task demands were there.
‘So we found that practice of Transcendental Meditation fundamentally changed how the brain functions in a positive way,’ Dr Travis concluded—‘in a way that now the brain is able support greater breadth of vision—being able to deal with the stress and demands of college on time.’
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