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New study shows reduction in congestive heart failure

The M.U.M. Review    Translate This Article
19 March 2007

Practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique significantly decreases the severity of congestive heart failure according to a first-of-its-kind randomized study published in the winter 2007 issue of Ethnicity & Disease.

According to the American Heart Association, congestive heart failure accounts for more than 2.5 million hospital admissions per year in the U.S. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Maharishi University of Management evaluated 23 African-American men and women who were recently hospitalized with congestive heart failure. Participants were randomized to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or to health education, in addition to usual medical care.

According to lead author, Ravishankar Jayadevappa, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine, the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique significantly improved on the six-minute walk test after both three and six months of practice compared to the control group. The former group also showed improvements in quality of life measurements and depression, and had fewer rehospitalizations.

The researchers theorize that the Transcendental Meditation technique improves heart functioning by reducing sympathetic nervous system activation associated with stress that is known to contribute to the failing heart.

'The results indicate that the Transcendental Meditation technique can be effective in improving the functional capacity, and quality of life, of congestive heart failure patients,' Dr. Jayadevappa said. 'These results also suggest long-term improvements in survival in these individuals. Further validation of the outcomes is planned via a large multicenter trial with long-term follow-up.

'This present finding is consistent with previous research demonstrating that the Transcendental Meditation program reduces factors that contribute to the cause or progression of heart failure, such as high blood pressure, stress, metabolic syndrome, left ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart) and severity of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries),' said Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., coauthor of the study and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management.

The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health—National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH-NCCAM) in a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention.

Others from the Maharishi University of Management team contributing to the project were Drs. Sanford Nidich, Maxwell Rainforth, John Salerno, Carolyn King, and Diane Prather-Huff, as well as Laura Alcorn and Linda Heaton.

Ethnicity & Disease exclusively publishes information on common illnesses through the study of ethnic patterns of disease.

Copyright © 2007, Maharishi University of Management

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