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Transcendental Meditation: Setting the tone of our health care system
by Jeanne Ball
Elephant Journal Translate This Article
15 June 2014
''Meditation research has come a long way'' since the first study on Transcendental Meditation was published in a peer-reviewed journal in 1970, writes Jeanne Ball,* reviewing the current state of the field in a recent issue of Elephant Journal.
''There are well over a thousand scientific research studies on different kinds of meditation practices, with over 600 published studies on the TM technique alone. It's becoming commonplace for universities, medical schools and hospitals to offer classes in mind-body medicine and provide training in meditation.''
The article by Ms. Ball takes as its starting point current tours by meditation researcher Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, of medical schools and universities across the US—speaking to doctors, medical scientists and students, and conducting media interviews—spearheading an initiative to update fellow physicians and health professionals about the latest research on meditation related to cardiovascular disease, and about the role of meditation in stress reduction, prevention and treatment.
''Many doctors and scientists are recognizing that mind-body-heart research has crossed a threshold,'' the article quotes Dr. Schneider as saying. ''With the recent publication of the American Heart Association's scientific statement on alternative methods for lowering blood pressure, and the AHA's publication of a long-term clinical trial showing that the Transcendental Meditation technique reduces rates of death, heart attack and stroke by 48 percent—and with hundreds of other peer-reviewed studies on TM, mindfulness and other meditation practices—there is now strong scientific evidence that meditation, when properly practiced, may significantly contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease and promoting well-being.''
One of Dr. Schneider's aims on the tour is to discuss the latest research showing that different mind-body practices produce different results.
The article notes this ''new scientific paradigm in the field of meditation research'', quoting other prominent researchers on the ''different effects on anxiety, addiction, depression, and mental and physical health''—as well as different brain wave patterns—produced by different meditation practices.
''As a 30-year teacher of meditation,'' Ms. Ball concludes, ''I'm now seeing more people being drawn to meditation than at any time in my career—especially physicians and health professionals, who are also prescribing it to patients,'' also pointing out that ''much of this surging interest is due to the scientific research.
''Dr. Schneider's outreach to medical schools is crucial. The kind of knowledge that medical students undergo today will set the tone of our health care system for decades to come.''
Click here to read the full article by Jeanne Ball online at elephantjournal.com.
Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, is Director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA.
View a short video of Dr. Schneider speaking on Meditation and Heart Health.
Jeanne Ball is a senior writer for the David Lynch Foundation—a non-profit, philanthropic organization that supports meditation projects for diverse groups. Trained and certified as a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, she has traveled the world implementing meditation programs in inner city schools, high-crime areas and war-torn countries.
Copyright © 2014 Elephant Journal
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