First Do No Harm

      

 

 

 

 

“If just one percent of the population meditates, it will affect the rest of the population.” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

 

 

Transcendental Meditation®
by Sue Spencer
From our book Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002

 

The Transcendental Meditation®, or TM®, program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the single most effective technique available for gaining deep relaxation, eliminating stress , promoting health, increasing creativity and intelligence, and attaining inner happiness and fulfillment. (http://tm.org/stress/stress-management.html)

The Transcendental Meditation® technique practiced by 5 million people worldwide, is a simple, natural, effortless technique. The effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program has been validated by over 500 scientific studies at more than 200 independent research institutions in 30 countries. The TM® technique requires no belief or lifestyle change, is non-religious, is not time-consuming, and can be learned by anyone regardless of age or level of education.

We invite you to use the menu to explore the www.TM.org web site and find out how the Transcendental Meditation® program can improve all aspects of your life in a way you never dreamed possible.

To find out how to learn, please attend a free introductory presentation, either in the St. Paul - Minneapolis area, or in Ely, Minnesota. You will find it very enlightening. To find when the next lecture is, in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, call (888) 532-7686; in the Ely area, call Sue Spencer, Transcendental Meditation Teacher, at (218) 308-6015, or email her at sspencer@TM.org. Be sure to put TM in the subject field of your message.

Here is a selection of TM research on cardiovascular health improvements.

Title: Effect of Transcendental Meditation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: decreased serum cholesterol levels in normal and hypercholesterolaemic patients. Reduction of blood pressure to more ideal levels in normotensive subjects.

COOPER, M. J., and AYGEN, M. M. Findings previously published in Harefuah, the Journal of the Israel Medical Association, 95(1): 1-2, 1978.

Collected Papers v3.233.

Title: Effect of Transcendental Meditation on mild and moderate hypertension.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: decreased blood pressure in patients with mild and moderate hypertension.

AGARWAL, B. L., and KHARBANDA, A.  Postgraduate Department of Medicine, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. Paper presented at the VIIth Asian-Pacific Congress on Cardiology, Bangkok, Thailand, November 1979.

Collected Papers v3.235.

Title: In search of an optimal behavioral treatment for hypertension: A review and focus on Transcendental Meditation.

Findings: Reduction of High Blood Pressure.

SCHNEIDER, R. H.; ALEXANDER, C. N.; and WALLACE, R. K. In Personality, Elevated Blood Pressure, and Essential Hypertension., eds. E. H. Johnson, W. D. Gentry, and S. Julius, pp. 291-316. Washington, D. C. : Hemisphere Publishing Corp., 1992.

Recent Research 454.

Title: Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and longevity: an experimental study with the elderly.

Findings: Benefits for the elderly demonstrating reversal of aging: increased longevity (higher survival rate). Reduction of systolic blood pressure to more ideal levels. Improved mental health (improvements on nurses’ mental health ratings). Increased cognitive flexibility (less premature cognitive commitment, increased learning ability on associate learning and greater perceptual flexibility). Increased word fluency. Improvements in self-reported measures of behavioral flexibility and aging (greater ability to cope with inconvenience, reduced feelings of being old, less impatience with others). Greater sense of well-being (feeling better during the TM program, high interest in the TM program and high ratings of the value of the TM program. Feeling better and more relaxed after the TM program).

ALEXANDER, C. N.; LANGER, E. J.; NEWMAN, R. I. . CHANDLER, H. M.; and DAVIES, J. L. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57(6): 950-964, 1989.

Recent Research 453.

Title: Elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in older practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs.

Findings: Hormone levels indicating younger biological age.

GLASER, J. L.; BRIND, J. L.; EISNER, M. J.; DILLBECK, M. C.; VOGELMAN, J. H.; and WALLACE, R. K. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., November 1986. (An abstract of these results also appeared in AGE 10(4): 160, 1987.)

Collected Papers v5.376.

Title: The effects of Transcendental Meditation on cognitive and behavioral flexibility, health, and longevity in the elderly: An experimental comparison of the Transcendental Meditation program, mindfulness training, and relaxation.

Findings: Benefits for the elderly: increased longevity. Increased cognitive and perceptual flexibility. Increased behavioral flexibility. Increased learning ability. Improved mental health and sense of well-being. More ideal levels of blood pressure.

ALEXANDER, C. N.; DAVIES, J. L.; NEWMAN, R. I.; and CHANDLER, H. M.  Department of Psychology and Social Relations and Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia, 1983.

Collected Papers v4.300.

Title: Improved mental and physical health and decreased use of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs through the Transcendental Meditation program.

Findings: Improvements in physical and mental health correlated with duration and regularity of practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Decreased use of alcohol. Decreased use of cigarettes. Decreased drug abuse. Decreased need for anti-hypertensives, drugs for heart disease, sleep medications, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, anti-asthmatics, anti-histamines, analgesics, and drugs for hypertension, asthma, and heart disease.

BROWNE, G. E.; FOUGÉE, D.; ROXBURGH, A.; BIRD, J.; and LOVELL-SMITH, H. D. Age of Enlightenment Medical Council, Christchurch, New Zealand; Heylen Research Centre, Auckland, New Zealand; and Dunedin Hospital, Dunedin, New Zealand, 1983.

Collected Papers v3.247.

Title: The Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reversal of the aging process: A longitudinal study.

Findings: Reversal of biological aging: longitudinal reduction in biological age. Younger biological age compared with norms. Length of time practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program correlated with younger biological age and younger functional age. Decreased systolic blood pressure and improved auditory threshold.

TOOMEY, M.; CHALMERS, R.; and CLEMENTS, G. MERU Research Institute, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England, 1983. Collected Papers v3.246.

CLEMENTS, G. MERU Research Institute, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England, 1983. Collected Papers v3.246.

Title: The practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program reverses the physiological aging process.

Findings: Reversal of biological aging: younger biological age compared with norms. Length of time practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program correlated with younger biological age and younger functional age, and predictive of lower systolic blood pressure and auditory threshold.

TOOMEY, M.; PENNINGTON, B.; CHALMERS, R.; and CLEMENTS, G. MERU Research Institute, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England, and Department of Biology, University of York, Yorkshire, England, 1982.

Collected Papers v3.245.

Title: Systolic blood pressure and long-term practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program: Effects of TM on systolic blood pressure.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: lower systolic blood pressure compared to norms for age. Effect more pronounced in long-term meditators.

WALLACE, R. K.; SILVER, J.; MILLS, P. J.; DILLBECK, M. C.; and WAGONER, D. E.  Psychosomatic Medicine 45(1): 41-46, 1983.

Collected Papers v3.244.

Title: Transcendental Meditation: A multipurpose tool in clinical practice.

Findings: Benefits in general medical practice: improvements in general health and in a wide variety of physical and mental disorders including hypertension, angina pectoris, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes mellitus, menorrhagia, periodontal inflammation, recurrent upper respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis, chronic back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, chronic colitis, insomnia, chronic headaches, anxiety, depression, fatigue, obesity. Decreased need for tranquilizers, sleep medications, anti-asthmatics, anti-hypertensives, and drugs for hypertension, asthma, and heart disease. Increased cooperation with medical advice. Faster recovery from major illness, chronic musculoskeletal complaints.

KIRTANE, L. General medical practice, Poona, Maharashtra, India, 1980.

Collected Papers v3.238.

Title: Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: long-term reductions in serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolaemic patients.

COOPER, M. J., and AYGEN, M. M. Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Human Stress 5(4): 24-27, 1979.

Collected Papers v3.236.

Title: Effect of Transcendental Meditation on mild and moderate hypertension.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: decreased blood pressure in patients with mild and moderate hypertension.

AGARWAL, B. L., and KHARBANDA, A.  Postgraduate Department of Medicine, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. Paper presented at the VIIth Asian-Pacific Congress on Cardiology, Bangkok, Thailand, November 1979.

Collected Papers v3.235.

Title: The effect of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure and cardiovascular reactivity.

Findings: More ideal levels of blood pressure in normotensive subjects: decreased mean diastolic ambulatory blood pressure.

WENNEBERG, S. R.; SCHNEIDER, R. H.; MACLEAN, C. R. K.; LEVITSKY, D. K.; WALTON, K. G.; MANDARINO, J.; and WAZIRI, R. Presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Boston, MA, April 13-16, 1994.

Recent Research 459.

Title: The Impact of Transcendental Meditation practice on medical expenditures.

Findings: Decreased medical care expenditures. Greatest savings for elderly and high cost people.

HERRON, R. E. Summary of Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Management, Maharishi University of Management, U.S.A. Dissertation Abstracts International 53(12):4219A, 1993.

Recent Research 458.

Title: Acute immunoreactivity, Transcendental Meditation, and Type A/B behavior.

Findings: Improved immune response to stress.

BLASDELL, K. S. Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Physiological and Biological Sciences, Maharishi University of Management, U.S.A. Dissertation Abstracts International 50(10): 4806B, 1990.

Recent Research 455.

Title: In search of an optimal behavioral treatment for hypertension: A review and focus on Transcendental Meditation.

Findings: Reduction of High Blood Pressure.

SCHNEIDER, R. H.; ALEXANDER, C. N.; and WALLACE, R. K. In Personality, Elevated Blood Pressure, and Essential Hypertension., eds. E. H. Johnson, W. D. Gentry, and S. Julius, pp. 291-316. Washington, D. C. : Hemisphere Publishing Corp., 1992.

Recent Research 454.

Title: Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia.

Findings: Improved cardiovascular health: long-term reductions in serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolaemic patients.

COOPER, M. J., and AYGEN, M. M. Journal of Human Stress 5(4): 24-27, 1979.

Collected Papers v3.236.

Title: The role of the Transcendental Meditation program in the promotion of athletic excellence: Long- and short-term effects and their relation to activation theory.

Findings: A unique state of deep rest during the Transcendental Meditation technique. Decreased metabolic rate (decreased oxygen consumption). Increased basal skin resistance. Fewer spontaneous skin resistance responses. Improved physiological functioning outside the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Improved cardiovascular efficiency. Improved respiratory efficiency (increased vital capacity). Improved athletic performance and neuromuscular integration. Improved running speed. Improved standing broad jump. Improved agility. Faster reactions.

REDDY, M. K. Master’s thesis, Centre for the Study of Higher States of Consciousness, Maharishi European Research University, Switzerland, 1976.

Collected Papers v2.130.

Title: Lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptors and cardiovascular responsivity in TM participants and Type A behavior.

Findings: Improved stress reactivity: lower beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity. Lower blood reactivity to stress. Lower resting blood pressure. Lower resting epinephrine level.

MILLS, P. J.; SCHNEIDER, R.; HILL, D.; WALTON, K.; and WALLACE, R. K. This is a summary of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March, 1987. (Refer also to Psychosomatic Medicine 49: 211, 1987, and Journal of Psychosomatic Research 33(6), 1989).

Collected Papers v5.367

Title: Neurohumoral correlates of Transcendental Meditation.

Findings: Changes in biochemical and hormonal balance outside the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique: decreased levels of catecholamine and steroid metabolites. Decreased plasma cortisol levels. Improved cardiovascular health: decreased serum cholesterol levels. Benefits for patients with aggressive behavior, mental retardation, and epilepsy: normalization of neurotransmitter metabolite levels, plasma cortisol levels, and EEG features. Decreased aggression in aggressive patients. Improved iq and cognitive functioning in mentally retarded subjects. Reduction of frequency and severity of epileptic seizures in epileptic patients.

SUBRAHMANYAM, S., and PORKODI, K.  Journal of Biomedicine 1: 73-88, 1980.

Collected Papers v3.202.

Title: Low normal heart and respiration rates in individuals practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Findings: Increased basal skin resistance during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Maintenance of a relaxed style of physiological functioning outside the practice: lower heart rate. Lower respiration rate.

ROUTT, T. J. Department of Psychology, Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Western Washington State College, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A., 1973.

Collected Papers v1.30. Title: In search of an optimal behavioral treatment for hypertension: A review and focus on Transcendental Meditation.

Findings: Reduction of High Blood Pressure.

SCHNEIDER, R. H.; ALEXANDER, C. N.; and WALLACE, R. K. In Personality, Elevated Blood Pressure, and Essential Hypertension., eds. E. H. Johnson, W. D. Gentry, and S. Julius, pp. 291-316. Washington, D. C. : Hemisphere Publishing Corp., 1992.

Recent Research 454.

Title: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.

Findings: Lower erythrocyte sedimentation rate levels indicating less serious illness and slower aging.

SMITH, D. E.; GLASER, J. L.; SCHNEIDER, R. H.; and DILLBECK, M. C. Psychosomatic Medicine 51: 259, 1989. (Also, refer to AGE 10(4): 160, 1987.)

Collected Papers v5.377.

Title: Elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in older practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs.

Findings: Hormone levels indicating younger biological age.

GLASER, J. L.; BRIND, J. L.; EISNER, M. J.; DILLBECK, M. C.; VOGELMAN, J. H.; and WALLACE, R. K. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., November 1986. (An abstract of these results also appeared in AGE 10(4): 160, 1987.)

Collected Papers v5.376.

Dissertation Abstracts

Cardiovascular and adrenergic reactivity and beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program and type A behavior.

Excessive cardiovascular reactivity to stress has been identified as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. To test the hypothesis that meditation may be an effective means to reduce cardiovascular reactivity, and thus reduce risk of heart disease, this study examined the acute and chronic effects of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) program on cardiovascular and adrenergic reactivity to stress, including the determination of lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity, while controlling for Type A behavior, a marker for cardiovascular reactivity.

Forty two males, mean age 32.5 (aged 20-48, 21 practicing the TM program and 21 non-meditating controls) were rated by the Structured Interview for Type A behavior pattern. The experiment consisted of a 30-minute baseline followed by: 5 minutes of mental arithmetic, 20 minutes of TM or relaxation, 5 minutes of a second mental arithmetic, and a 4-minute isometric hand grip at 30% maximum voluntary contraction. A 20-minute rest period separated each intervention period.

The results indicated that the TM group had both a lower resting blood pressure prior to, and a lower blood pressure level during, all three stressor periods. Following the acute TM period, the TM group had a lower diastolic blood pressure response, and a higher initial heart rate response, to the second mental stress, as well as a lower diastolic blood pressure response to the isometric hand grip task. The TM group had a higher beta-max, a lower percent of receptors in the high affinity state, and a lower mean resting epinephrine level. There were no significant differences between the TM and control groups for any of the Type A behavior or Spielberger anger expression scale components. Regression analysis revealed that the Type A behavior components verbal competition, rapid, and explosive were predictive of diastolic blood pressure reactivity and heart rate reactivity. The Spielberger angerout component was predictive of both resting and response values of heart rate and catecholamines.

These findings support the hypotheses that TM is associated with (1) reduced blood pressure reactivity to stress, and (2) altered beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity. The results also support previous research showing TM’s long-term effects of lowered blood pressure. Source: DAI, 48, no. 06B, (1987): 1612

Reduced cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in older African Americans practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program

African Americans have a well-documented excess of CVD mortality which is at least in part due to psychosocial stress. The Transcendental Meditation® (TM) program has been reported to reduce psychological stress, cardiovascular risk factors and incidence of heart disease. A randomized controlled trial indicated that TM reduced hypertension significantly more than progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and an educational control (EC) in older (mean age = 67 years) African Americans after 3 months. Pilot research in Caucasian elderly has found a 73% reduction in all-cause and cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in the TM group compared to the combined control group.

Based on these findings, TM (n = 36) was hypothesized to reduce incidence of all-cause and CVD mortality compared to PMR (n = 37) and EC (n = 36) and a combined control (CC, n = 73) group among the African American participants with mild hypertension in the original BP study. After 5 years, an all-cause and CVD mortality follow-up was conducted with data provided from Vital Statistics, Sacramento, CA. Survival distributions were compared by the Wilcoxon and Cox proportional hazards tests. There were 0.0% (0/36) CVD fatalities for TM compared to 9.5% (7/73) for CC, and 8.5% (3/36) all-cause fatalities for TM compared to 19% (14/13) for CC. Both all-cause (P =.045) and CVD (P =.021) mortality were significantly lower for TM compared to combined controls. The relative risk (RR) for TM compared with combined controls was 0.00 (95% CI 0-0.63) for CVD mortality and 0.32 (95% CI 0-0.96) for all-cause mortality.

These findings suggest that TM practice may reduce incidence of CVD and all-cause mortality in older hypertensive African Americans. According to Maharishi’s Vedic Approach to Health, TM enhances the holistic inner intelligence of mind and body, and thereby promotes balance in psychophysiological functioning and thus helps prevent premature disease and death. The demonstrated benefit for the Transcendental Meditation program seems to have important implications for clinical and public health policy for reducing excessive CVD and all-cause mortality in African Americans. Source: DAI, 57, no. 08B, (1996): 4999

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