by The Review, Maharishi University of Management
29 May 2007
Now that extensive research has established that practice of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation® Technique reduces hypertension and cardiovascular disease, a multimillion-dollar four-year grant was recently awarded by the National Institutes of Health for research that will seek to understand the physiological mechanisms for the blood pressure effect.
“This is an important new direction,” said Robert Schneider, M.D., director of the Maharishi University of Management Research Institute’s Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention. “We’ve documented the ‘what’ — that clinically there’s an effect — but people want to understand more of the ‘how’ — how the experience of pure consciousness changes basic physiological processes such as blood pressure in people with hypertension. When this is answered, then Consciousness-Based health care will be easier for people to understand and accept.”
The project is a collaboration between the Maharishi University of Management Research Institute and the Howard University School of Medicine.
Dr. Schneider explained that the underlying hypothesis of the study is that the Transcendental Meditation technique makes the entire neuro-cardiovascular system more stable and adaptable.
The researchers will test this hypothesis by studying a variety of cardiovascular and neurophysiological mechanisms for high blood pressure in the 152 subjects, who will be assigned to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or a health education program.
This first-of-its-kind study will look specifically at physiological mechanisms such as cardiovascular hemodynamics — the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Does, for example, the Transcendental Meditation technique foster this process so that the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood, and thereby needs less pressure to do so?
Other mechanisms to be studied include reactivity to and recovery from acute stress in the laboratory, stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, and 24-hour monitoring of blood pressure and activity of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
Maharishi University of Management faculty and staff who made major contributions to the grant and who will carry out the project include Dr. Sanford Nidich, Dr. Maxwell Rainforth, Dr. John Salerno, Dr. Carolyn King, Dr. Diane Prather-Huff, Laura Alcorn, and Linda Heaton.
A popular presentation of the research and applications of the Transcendental Meditation program in hypertension and other risk factors for heart disease is presented in Dr. Schneider’s new book, Total Heart Health: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health.
For more information on successful treatments of leading risk factors for heart disease, see Dr Schneider's new book, 'THE TOTAL HEART HEALTH PROGRAM: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and its Risk Factors
— Stress, High blood pressure, Cholesterol, Overweight, Smoking
— Naturally and Without Harmful Side Effects,' please visit: http://www.totalhearthealth.info/
Reprint from The Review, Maharishi University of Management publication