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Physicians recommend Transcendental Meditation to reduce risk factors for heart attack and stroke

Ask the Doctors    Translate This Article
27 June 2011

Neurologist Gary Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D.,* and cardiologist César Molina, M.D., F.A.C.C.,** discuss the role of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Their discussion is featured on the website Ask the Doctors.

This article, third in a series, features Dr Kaplan and Dr Molina answering questions about atherosclerosis and reducing the risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

Q: Since the result of high blood pressure over many years is usually hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to complications of stroke and heart attack, is there evidence that the Transcendental Meditation technique can reduce atherosclerosis? 

Dr. Kaplan:
A groundbreaking study published in the journal Stroke showed that the thickness of the wall of the carotid artery, a warning sign for hardening of the arteries, is reduced with regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Q: Do you recommend the Transcendental Meditation technique to help reduce the risk factors for heart attack and stroke? 

Dr. Molina:
Actually, I recommend the Transcendental Meditation technique to anyone, because you don't have to be sick to meditate.

There have been studies showing that Transcendental Meditation technique increases longevity and decreases cardiovascular death, as compared to control groups that did nothing, received regular medical care and practiced other relaxation techniques. Also, the TM technique does reduce the risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a very simple mental technique, and when practiced regularly, it is associated with a decrease in blood pressure and improved neuro-physiological integration and endocrine integration; therefore, it is a process in which you can decrease high blood pressure, decrease atherosclerosis, and at the same time become more awake, alert, bright and happy.

Click here for more about Transcendental Meditation and blood pressure, including related research showing the effects of the technique in reducing: stress; blood pressure in different age groups and at-risk populations; congestive heart failure; and atherosclerosis and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

* Gary P. Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Hofstra University School of Medicine. He is also a recipient of the Albert H. Douglas Award from the Medical Society of the State of New York for outstanding achievements as a clinical teacher interested in promoting and improving the medical education of physicians.

**César Molina, M.D., F.A.C.C., is Medical Director of the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. He is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Molina has appeared in the international edition of CNN discussing the benefits of diet and exercise in the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease.

© Copyright 2011 American Association of Physicians Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique

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