by Transcendental Meditation for Women blog and Transcendental Meditation for Women's Hearth Health online
14 February 2022
The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique has been found to reduce the three major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Stress and anxiety create strain on the cardiovascular system, and TM practice is a powerful tool for reducing chronic anxiety and stress. The TM technique also curbs smoking and substance abuse, reducing these additional common risk factors for heart disease.
During TM practice, the mind effortlessly settles inward to a quiet state of restful alertness. In this meditative state, the brain functions more coherently while the body experiences deep rest, dissolving accumulated stresses and fatigue.
Reductions in Heart Attacks, Strokes and Mortality
Reduction of the risk factors for heart disease is extremely important. Doctors spend an enormous amount of time counseling their patients on just this. But the holy grail of cardiovascular research is an approach that will directly reduce heart attacks, strokes and mortality.
The Transcendental Meditation program is such an approach. In a carefully controlled trial funded by the National Institutes of Health, 201 African Americans with evidence of some artery blockage were randomly assigned to either learn the TM technique or participate in health education classes on diet and exercise. The study’s format was carefully designed so that the two groups received equal time, attention and sense of expectation.
At the end of the 9-year trial period the TM program was associated with a 48% greater reduction in the composite of mortality, nonfatal heart attacks and nonfatal strokes than those who had not learned TM.
While the TM group as a whole had an impressive 48%, reduction, when the researchers analyzed the data further they found that those who practiced the technique most regularly had even more positive results—a 66% greater reduction in heart attacks, strokes and mortality than controls.
This study mirrors several others showing successful reductions in mortality with the practice of the TM technique.
The National Institutes of Health has funded over $26 million in research on the Transcendental Meditation technique for prevention of heart disease.
A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin and presented at a conference of the American Heart Association showed that deaths, heart attacks, and strokes were cut by nearly half for at-risk patients who practiced the TM technique, compared to controls.
1) TM decreases heart attacks, strokes, and death in heart patients: Ten-year study
Reference: Schneider RH, Grim CE, Rainforth MV, Kotchen T, Nidich SI, Gaylord-King C, Salerno JW, Kotchen JM, Alexander CN.
Stress reduction in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized controlled trial of Transcendental Meditation and health education in African Americans. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2012;5(6): 750-758.
2) Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease
Reference: Schneider, R, Nidich, S, Kotchen J, Kotchen, T, Grim, C, Rainforth, M, Gaylord-King, C, Salerno, J.
Effects of Stress Reduction on Clinical Events in African Americans with Coronary Heart Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Circulation. 2009; 120:S461
3) Reduction of Angina Episodes Through Transcendental Meditation
Reference: American Journal of Cardiology 85: 653-655, 2000.
4) Reduced Atherosclerosis (American Journal of Cardiology, April 2002)
The study’s subjects with multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease were found to have substantially reduced atherosclerosis through a multi-modality treatment program derived from a system of traditional medicine that included daily Transcendental Meditation practice.
5) Regression of Atherosclerosis (Stroke, March 2000)
A randomized, controlled clinical trial showed that the daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique was associated with or decreased narrowing of the arteries in the heart and brain in high-risk hypertensive adults, thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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