Evidence Shows Transcendental Meditation Has Real Health Benefits
By: Robert H. Schneider
Published: huffingtonpost.com | 02/07/2014 3:06 pm EST
Needless to say, I was surprised to see the recent headline in The Wall Street Journal: “Meditation Has Limited Benefits, Study Finds.” I’ve been researching the effects of meditation on health for 30 years and have found that it has compelling benefits. Over the past year, I have been invited by doctors in medical schools and major health centers on four continents to instruct them on the scientific basis of mind-body medicine and meditation in prevention and treatment of disease (especially cardiovascular disease).
Research on Transcendental Meditation, for example, has found reduced blood pressure, increased insulin resistance (useful for preventing diabetes), slowing of biological aging and even a 48 percent reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death. I would consider those to be benefits. And so does the American Heart Association, which last year released a statement saying that decades of research indicate TM lowers blood pressure and may be considered by clinicians as a treatment for high blood pressure.
Research on meditation has also shown a wide range of psychological benefits. For example, a 2012 review of 163 studies that was published by the American Psychological Association concluded that Transcendental Meditation had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety and neuroticism while aiding learning, memory and self-realization. Mindfulness meditation had relatively strong effects in reducing negative personality traits and stress and in improving attention and mindfulness. Using an index that integrates both positive and negative factors related to psychological health from these studies, Transcendental Meditation scored significantly better.
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