Meditate your way to heart health
Reported November 19, 2009
Transcendental Meditation, once the mainstay of tie-dyed hippies and new age “healers”, has been hailed by US researchers as a preventative measure for heart attacks.
The meditation practice, which followers believe aids “development of consciousness”, was introduced in India in 1955 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularised in the 1960s by the Beatles, who travelled to India to meet its founder.
In the 50 years since then it has dropped off the public radar. That is until researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Iowa’s Maharishi University decided to test the effects of Transcendental Meditation on heart disease patients.
Scientists randomly assigned meditation or other lifestyle changes to 201 African-Americans with an average age of 59, all of whom had a narrowing of the arteries in their hearts.
The meditation group were asked to practise for 20 minutes twice a day, while the lifestyle change group received education classes in traditional risk factors, including dietary modification and exercise.
Nine years later, the meditation group had a 47% reduction in deaths, heart attacks and strokes, suffering 20 such incidents, while the lifestyle changes group suffered 31.
Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Centre for Natural Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University in Iowa, said the effect of Transcendental Meditation in the trial was like adding a class of newly discovered drugs for the prevention of heart disease.
“In this case, the new medications are derived from the body’s own internal pharmacy stimulated by the Transcendental Meditation practice,” he added.
Source : Sideways News Ltd