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Grant awarded to study mechanisms by which Transcendental Meditation lowers blood pressure
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
31 May 2007

Dr Robert Schneider, eminent cardiologist, spoke in a recent media appearance about a major grant awarded to Maharishi University of Management Research Institute in Fairfield, Iowa in collaboration with Howard University Medical Centre of Washington DC, to study the mechanisms by which Transcendental Meditation Technique lowers blood pressure.

'One particular mechanism we are looking at in this new study is reactivity to stress,' said Dr Schneider. 'It's common knowledge—and in scientific literature—that psychological, emotional stress, hyper-reactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, contributes to sustained levels of high blood pressure. However, it has not been shown convincingly yet in the modern scientific literature that reducing stress reactivity lowers blood pressure. Everyone has always assumed the other.'

'What we are doing in this study is bringing people into the lab before they start Transcendental Meditation. We'll be exposing them to some simple lab stressors, like doing some arithmetic problems, running on a treadmill.... Then we'll be measuring hormonal changes in response to these stressors—blood pressure changes, changes in cardiac output ... so we'll see exactly how the body reacts to these stressors which mirror, or mimic, the stressors in real life.'

'Half the group will then be randomly assigned to begin TM for 20 minutes twice a day, and half will receive a control intervention of classes in conventional health education.'

'They will be keeping careful diaries. We will be measuring heart rate using a very sophisticated method called 'heart rate variability' which mirrors the neurocontrol of the heart and shows how the brain is regulating the heart.'

'These are all quite new in terms of controlled studies of how TM lowers blood pressure, and results of this study will elucidate the physiological mechanisms. We've shown the 'what'—that TM lowers blood pressure,—now we will be showing the 'how'. We expect the results will be published in top medical journals in a couple of years, just like our previous studies of Maharishi's Vedic Technologies in regulating health.'

Copyright © 2007 Global Good News(sm) Service

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