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Redefining health: Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation
by David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.
Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
16 February 2012
Continuing his comprehensive review of scientific research, Dr. David Orme-Johnson* describes studies showing better health in people practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. Findings of reduced stress and health-related problems, lower medical care utilization and decreased medical expenditures in high-cost patients and the elderly, and reduced cardiovascular disease are in line with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's description of higher states of human development as characterized by optimum health.
Please see previous articles in this series:
∙ 'The science behind the experience of enlightenment: Measuring the immeasurable'
∙ 'Early research on Transcendental Meditation finds fourth major state of consciousness: Dr David Orme-Johnson'
∙ 'The meditating brain: Research shows increased EEG coherence during Transcendental Meditation'
∙ 'A coherent brain is a high-performing brain: Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation'
∙ 'Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation: Quantifying the growth to enlightenment'
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Enlightenment: Redefining health. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi describes enlightenment as a state of optimum health. Dr. Robert Keith Wallace's early research showed that the TM technique reduces stress and a broad spectrum of health-related problems.
My own review of health insurance statistics on 2,000 meditators over a five-year period found that TM practitioners had over 50% lower medical care utilization and costs than controls or the norm, with over 70% reductions for adults over 40.
Dr. Robert Herron's 14-year longitudinal study of the medical expenditures of over 1,400 TM practitioners, as compared to an equal number of matched controls, found an average 14% per year reduction in the meditators' medical expenditures in the six-year period following their TM instruction. Subsequent studies by Dr. Herron and colleagues found that the TM technique decreases medical expenditures by 70% in high-cost patients and the elderly over five years.
In a series of highly controlled studies funded by $24 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (US) and other agencies, Dr. Robert Schneider, Dr. Charles Alexander, Dr. Sandy Nidich, and their team at Maharishi University of Management and collaborating universities found that the TM technique reduces heart disease, the most costly aspect of health care.
The TM technique reduces high blood pressure; unblocks arteries; improves functional capacity; reduces enlargement of the heart; decreases insulin resistance in diabetics; reduces recurrences of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems in heart patients; and reduces the death rate from heart disease, as well as death from all causes.
Similarly, in a series of studies supported by NIH and the American Heart Association, Dr. Vernon Barnes, Dr. Frank Treiber, and colleagues at the Georgia Health Sciences University studied the effects of the TM technique on adolescents prone to heart disease. They reasoned that prevention of heart disease from a very young age could improve the quality of life of these individuals throughout their lifespan, while markedly reducing medical costs for them and society.
They found that the TM technique reduces resting blood pressure in adolescents and decreases elevations of blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output in reaction to stressful conditions. TM practice also improved school behavior, as indicated by fewer rule infractions, days suspended, and absences.
Click here to watch a video of Dr. Orme-Johnson discussing the body of scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Global Good News will continue to feature excerpts from Dr. Orme-Johnson's article, The science behind the experience of enlightenment.
Source: Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation Magazine
* David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., was a founding faculty member and chair of the department of psychology at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, USA for over two decades. Dr. Orme-Johnson has published over 100 scientific papers on the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi® programs and is co-editor of Volumes 1 and 5 of Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program: Collected Papers. He is a nationally recognized researcher on human potential and currently serves as a consultant on research on meditation.
© Copyright 2012 Maharishi Foundation USA
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