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Medical doctor on American Indian reservation discusses beneficial results of Transcendental Meditation for diabetes patients
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 October 2009
A medical doctor at the Winnebago Treaty Hospital-IHS (Indian Health Service) in Nebraska, USA, described how the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique has helped his diabetes patients. 'Their blood pressure is much lower than other patients', and that's stemming from the low level of stress they have . . . . They interact better with their [healthcare] provider, and they are willing to be part of the solution,' he said, in a video clip presented at an American Indian press conference* held last month at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA.
Press conference moderator Prosper Waukon** introduced the presentation. 'One of the projects envisioned by the elders council was to do a diabetes study on our reservation utilizing the Transcendental Meditation Technique because of the results that they were experiencing themselves,' Mr Waukon said.
The elders hope to 'correlate all the other medical studies with this study on the Winnebago Indian reservation. Diabetes, as mentioned earlier [in the press conference], is one of our #1 health problems in Indian country, [affecting] up to 80% in some of the tribes. So we're hoping that this simple technique not only will help preventatively, but also has the potential to stop the progression of diabetes.'
He then showed the video of the medical doctor heading the study at the Winnebago Treaty Hospital-IHS.
'Diabetes is really devastating. . . . About 80% of our population are diabetic,' the doctor said. 'They have high blood sugar. Diet-wise we are doing our best [to] control the diet. We have several dieticians—we make sure that the patients get the information they need to [follow] their diet. We are also using all the standard medications. We have regular visits for our patients. We have podiatrist services to take care of the foot [complications of diabetes]. Even so, we are still having a problem controlling the diabetes: it has to be another factor, especially the stress. When we refer those patients to mental health, and they evaluate them there, the factor of stress keeps coming up.
'Patients that we see in our clinic that went through the Transcendental Meditation Programme, they do act totally different than the patients that never went through the programme. When they come to see [us] in the hospital, their blood pressure is much lower than other patients', and that's stemming from the low level of stress they have. They speak softly, they are aware of . . . their disease, they interact better with their [healthcare] provider, and they are willing to be part of the solution.'
'The study is going to be a collaboration between Maharishi University [of Management] in Iowa, the IHS Indian Health Service, and Winnebago tribe,' the doctor concluded.
* The press conference on 'Building Healthy, Sustainable American Indian Communities' preceded a historic three-day international symposium on the same theme, 25-27 September at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The press conference explored in brief a proven five-point plan to reduce and even eradicate some of the most pressing problems confronting American Indians and all indigenous people throughout the world—including problems in the field of health.
** Prosper Waukon is a hereditary leader of the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. He is an accomplished businessman, youth development specialist, and organizational strategist. Mr Waukon shares with the Hocak Elders Council a tireless advocacy for the education, health, food, and preservation and restoration of culture for his tribe and the whole of Indian Country.
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