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American Heart Association says yes to Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation News - UK    Translate This Article
1 July 2013

Groundbreaking scientific statement recommends Transcendental Meditation for treatment of hypertension

The recent statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) on alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure included an evaluation of research on Transcendental Meditation. The evaluation concluded that the technique lowers blood pressure and may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension.

The latest issue of Transcendental Meditation News (UK) features a detailed report on the AHA statement.

Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, Director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management, and a leading researcher on Transcendental Meditation and cardiovascular health, describes the report as groundbreaking.

The AHA report is entitled: ''Beyond Medications and Diet —Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association,''* and its purpose is to inform physicians which alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure have been shown by research to be effective. The authors assessed three categories of alternative therapies: behavioural therapies (in which category they included meditation), non-invasive procedures or devices such as acupuncture, and exercise-based regimes. They did not review diets or dietary supplements.

Transcendental Meditation—the only meditation recommended in the AHA report

After considering meta-analyses (a statistical technique that combines the results of different studies) and the latest clinical trials on different types of meditation, the report stated that at present Transcendental Meditation is the only meditation practice that has been shown by scientific research to lower blood pressure. There is not sufficient scientific data to recommend other types of meditation or relaxation techniques at this time, it said.

Part of the impetus for the statement from the AHA came from the patients themselves, who are often reluctant to take medication. ''A common request from patients is, 'I don't like to take medications, what can I do to lower my blood pressure?' '' said Robert Brook, M.D., chair of the expert panel that authored the report. ''We wanted to provide some direction.''

Eleven randomised controlled trials on Transcendental Meditation and cardiovascular health were reviewed and summarised in the AHA statement. Meta-analyses referenced in the report found that Transcendental Meditation lowers blood pressure by an average of five mmHg systolic and three mmHg diastolic blood pressure. Although by some accounts modest, Dr Schneider points out that for millions of people with high blood pressure, this reduction may help to bring them into a more normal range or prevent the need for hypertension medication with attendant side effects and costs.

Global Good News will continue to feature this report published in Transcendental Meditation News in the UK, about the new AHA statement on Transcendental Meditation.

* Brook RD, et al., Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension, 61(6), 2013.

Source: Transcendental Meditation News, Britain's national Transcendental Meditation magazine.

Copyright © 2013 Maharishi Foundation UK

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