Brian Sullivan



The Beatles may have popularized it, and Deepak Chopra has added medical credibility to it now science says TM Meditators with coronary heart disease have 47 percent lower rates of heart attack and stroke and death.


The first-ever study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association Nov.16, 2009. It was sponsored by a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health–National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Meditation reduced the combined death, heart attacks, and stroke rate by 47 percent, reduced blood pressure by a significant 5 mm Hg average and reduced psychological stress.


“Previous research on Transcendental Meditation has shown reductions in blood pressure, psychological stress, and other risk factors for heart disease” said lead author and director of the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention Robert Schneider.


The study was conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in collaboration with the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.


“This is the first controlled clinical trial to show that long-term practice of this particular stress reduction program reduces the incidence of clinical cardiovascular events, that is heart attacks, strokes and mortality.”


The nine-year, randomized control trial followed 201African American men and women, average age 59 years, with narrowing of heart arteries.


They were randomly assigned to either practice the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique or to participate in a control group which received health education classes in traditional risk factors, dietary modification and exercise.


All participants continued standard medications and other usual medical care.


“This study is an example of the contribution of a lifestyle intervention—stress management—to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients,” said co-author Professor Theodore Kotchen.


Dr. Schneider said that the effect of Transcendental Meditation in the trial was like adding a class of newly discovered medications for the prevention of heart disease. “In this case, the new medications are derived from the body’s own internal pharmacy stimulated by the Transcendental Meditation practice,” he said.


There are 1,5 million heart attacks annually in the US and Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of  death.


There is a heart attack every 34 seconds in the USA.


Dr. Schneider said that the effect of Transcendental Meditation in the trial was like adding a class of newly discovered medications for the prevention of heart disease.


“In this case, the new medications are derived from the body’s own internal pharmacy stimulated by the Transcendental Meditation practice,” he said.


Certainly it is cost effective. More than $475 billion is spent annually on treating CHD. Coronary bypass surgery costs $100,000, angioplasty $50,000 and diagnostic cardiac catheterization $30,000.


There are nearly 500,000 coronary artery bypass grafts and 1.3 million angioplasties performed every year.


Better by far you forget and smile than you should remember and be sad - Christina Rosetti
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