Transcendental Meditation

Study on stress and heart disease

Psychosocial Stress and Cardiovascular Disease Part 2: Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Treatment and Prevention

Authors:  Walton, K.G., Schneider, R.H., Nidich, S.I., Salerno, J.W., Nordstrom, C.K., Bairey Merz, C.N.

Published:  Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2002 Fall; vol 28(3): pp 106-23.

Background: Psychosocial stress is a nontraditional risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that may respond to behavioral or psychosocial interventions. To date, studies applying such interventions have reported a wide range of success rates in treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The authors focus on a natural medicine approach that research indicates reduces both psychosocial and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease-the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.

Results: Randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and other controlled studies indicate this meditation technique reduces risk factors and can slow or reverse the progression of pathophysiological changes underlying cardiovascular disease. Studies with this technique have revealed reductions in blood pressure, carotid artery intima-media thickness, myocardial ischemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, mortality, and other relevant outcomes. The magnitudes of these effects compare favorably with those of conventional interventions for secondary prevention.

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