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How Transcendental Meditation helps promote improved memory

Ask the Doctors    Translate This Article
30 July 2011

Psychiatrist Chris Clark, M.D.,* answers questions about the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique in improving memory and mental focus:

Q: I'm in my 50s now and my memory doesn't seem as good as it used to be. Will the Transcendental Meditation technique help?

Dr. Clark:
Many research studies have shown that both short-term and long-term memory are improved with the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Regular practice of the TM technique allows the mind to become more fresh, alert and deeply rested. With a more restful physiology, it's natural that the mind functions more clearly and coherently—improving memory, concentration and cognitive processing.

When the mental fatigue from a day's work is dissolved during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, the stress and strain that interferes with concentration is also reduced. Improved concentration allows for better memory. By learning the TM technique at the age of 50-something, you may find your memory becomes clearer and crisper and you're able to retain what you read better than you have in years.

Q: I'm so tired all the time that I have trouble focusing in my work. Could TM help?

Dr. Clark:
Scientific research on people practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique reveals greater ability to focus, less distractibility and improved performance at work. Studies have shown that people can differentiate an object of attention from its background (better focus on the object) and can make decisions more rapidly and accurately. Each meditation session refreshes the mind, leaving it clearer, more settled and better able to process information. It's better than a nap or a coffee break.

The TM technique allows for deeper rest than even sleep, and surveys show that Americans are running a sleep deficit—sleeping on average one-and-half hours less than they did 100 years ago. The population has accumulated fatigue due to lack of sleep, which gives rise to mental fatigue during the day, lack of job efficiency and increased stress. Regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation program can reduce this backlog of fatigue and sleep deprivation—and also allow for deeper, more restful sleep at night. Most people focus better on their work when they are less fatigued.

Related article:
Transcendental Meditation promotes experience of a fourth major state of consciousness

Click here for more about Transcendental Meditation and memory, focus and decision-making, including related research showing the effects of the technique in promoting improved intelligence, creativity and learning ability; and increased efficiency and productivity.

* Christopher Clark, M.D., is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and a recipient of a child psychology fellowship from the University of Washington. He has practiced medicine for over 20 years and is currently a psychiatrist in Vero Beach, Florida.

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

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