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Meditation, longer life are linked
by John Fauber
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Indiana Living Translate This Article
14 May 2005
On 14 May 2005 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Indiana Living reported:
It has been widely publicized that the Transcendental Meditation Technique is an effective treatment for reducing high blood pressure. Now, new research shows that Transcendental Meditation also extends the lifespan due to its intrinsic therapeutic value, and to 'healthier choices that practitioners tend to naturally adopt'.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
fulfilment to the field of health.
Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Center of Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, has teamed up with the Medical College of Wisconsin in a series of clinical trials that compare the benefits of TM practice to other medical procedures for treating patients with high blood pressure and heart disease.
According to the authors of this new study, a previous study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, revealed that the TM practice extends the length of life. The researchers analyzed two earlier studies which began in the 1980s and '90s, involving 202 elderly people with an average age of 71, including 125 African-Americans, either with mildly high blood pressure or pre-hypertension.
One group of individuals practised Transcendental Meditation twice a day for 20 minutes and the control groups took part in other relaxation techniques or in health education. The participants' progress was tracked for 7.6 years on average, and up to 18.8 years.
Compared with the other techniques, the Transcendental Meditation group had a 23 per cent decrease in deaths from all causes and a 30 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease deaths.
'I personally think it's related to a wide variety of changes,' Dr Schneider said, citing several TM benefits that affect lifespan such as strengthening the immune system, improving nervous system activity and reducing stress hormones, and healthier choices that practitioners tend to naturally adopt, such as smoking cessation and better stress management.'
The current studies going on at the Medical College of Wisconsin involve 250 African-Americans from the Milwaukee area with high blood pressure, and 250 African-Americans with coronary artery disease. Transcendental Meditation, which is thousands of years old, is patented and promoted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced the technique to the US a half century ago.
Schneider said the reductions were similar to what is found in people who take cholesterol or blood pressure reducing drugs. 'But they often have adverse side effects,' he said. 'This utilizes the body's own pharmacy without those side effects.'
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