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How the Transcendental Meditation Programme promotes a healthy heart
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24 May 2011
The effects of the Transcendental Meditation Programme in promoting a healthy heart have been well-documented by scientific research.
How stress damages the heart
Experts explain that psychological stress has been shown to increase activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. This increased activation releases adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, which lead to faster heart rate, increased cardiac output, and narrower arteries. These changes, in turn, create increased blood pressure. Activation of these systems also accelerates the progress of atherosclerosis and can lead to acute plaque rupture, which results in ischemia of the heart (angina) and coronary heart disease and stroke.
How the Transcendental Meditation technique promotes a healthy heart
The unique state of restful alertness gained during the Transcendental Meditation technique promotes health by reducing activation of the sympathetic nervous system—which, in turn, dilates the blood vessels and reduces stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, and provides stress relief.
Published research confirms that the TM technique:
∙ Reduces high blood pressure
∙ Reduces atherosclerosis
∙ Reduces constriction of blood vessels
∙ Reduces thickening of coronary arteries
∙ Reduces use of antihypertensive medication
∙ Reduces mortality rates
∙ Provides stress relief.
The National Institutes of Health (US) has granted over $20 million to study the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. In addition, hundreds of other studies have been conducted on the beneficial effects of the TM program for mind, health, behavior, and society at over 210 independent universities and research institutions in 33 countries, including Harvard, Yale, and UCLA Medical School.
'Blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease,' comments Robert Schneider, MD, FACP, who is Dean of the College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine at Maharishi University of Management. 'While drug treatment can be used to lower blood pressure, all drugs have adverse side effects. However, research has shown that natural treatment of high blood pressure with the Transcendental Meditation program reduces blood pressure on average as much as antihypertensive medication.'
Dr Schneider describes a study published in the American Heart Association journal called Stroke, 'which shows reduction in blood pressure over three months time in people with hypertension practising Transcendental Meditation—compared to individuals practicing a generic relaxation technique, and people participating in a conventional education control program.
'These control programs had little or no change in their blood pressure, compared to the dramatic and clinically significant reductions seen with the Transcendental Meditation participants,' Dr Schneider explains.
Click here to learn more about research on Transcendental Meditation and heart disease, as well as in many other areas of health.
© Copyright 2011 Maharishi Foundation - USA
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