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Cambodian students' psychological health improves with Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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17 August 2013
Of three scientific research studies conducted in the early years of Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia, one looked at overall satisfaction with the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique, another at how Transcendental Meditation increased nonverbal intelligence, and the third showed the beneficial effects of Transcendental Meditation on mental and physical health.
In a recent interview, Dr Lee Fergusson explained that these three research studies became the core of the book written by himself and Dr Anna Bonshek, Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: Educational Reconstruction and Social Renewal, which was recently published. Dr Fergusson and Dr Bonshek were the founding rectors of the university.
Previous articles in this series reported on outcomes of the first two studies:
∙ Study finds positive effects of Transcendental Meditation on education in Cambodia
∙ Nonverbal intelligence increases in Cambodian university students practising Transcendental Meditation
The third study was published in the Journal of Instructional Psychology in the USA and is also reprinted in Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme: Collected Papers.
The study looked at a wide range of health topics, from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to self-esteem to general health.
Over a four-month period, researchers analyzed students from Phnom Penh University, the Institute of Economic Science, and Maharishi Vedic University. 'What it found was that anxiety actually increased in students at the other universities but decreased significantly in students at Maharishi Vedic University,' Dr Fergusson said. Other findings:
∙ The level of depression increased in students at both Phnom Penh University and the Institute of Economic Science. In contrast, depression decreased among Maharishi Vedic University students.
∙ While self-esteem was somewhat unchanged in the others, self-esteem increased significantly in students at Maharishi Vedic University.
∙ General health increased in students at all the universities, but markedly more in those at Maharishi Vedic University.
'The findings of these three studies together indicate that the [Maharishi Vedic University] curriculum had a very salutary, beneficial effect on the students' well-being,' said Dr Fergusson.
He added that the long-term success of the students, years after graduation, has also been impressive and added another dimension to these three studies on Transcendental Meditation and Cambodian students.
Dr Fergusson also pointed out the importance of these studies as the first scientific research conducted in Cambodia over a 20-year period.
See related article: Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: New book gives history of education
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