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Prevention begins within: Prevention of cardiovascular disease in youth through the Transcendental Meditation Programme
by Global Good News staff writer
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1 May 2009
Scientific research shows that the Transcendental Meditation Programme helps normalize high blood pressure in high school and college students—reducing the risk of adult hypertension by 50 per cent.
These findings were presented at a major press conference* by Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, FABMR, a specialist in hypertension and preventive medicine who has been awarded more than $20 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States for his pioneering research on natural approaches to prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
There is a tremendous demand for a new approach to health for young people today, Dr Schneider said. The leading cause of death, disability, and healthcare cost in the US today is cardiovascular disease.
Prevention at an early age is important because the cardiovascular disease process begins in childhood. 'At least 50 per cent of all children in the United States have one or more risk factor for cardiovascular disease', he said. Childhood risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes track into later adulthood.
Dr Schneider cited two studies on Transcendental Meditation and young people.
A two-month study conducted at the Medical College of Georgia showed that high school students practising the Transcendental Meditation Technique had significantly reduced blood pressure compared to a group not practising the technique.
These students also had 'reduced physiological reactivity to stress'.
A second study presented by Dr Schneider was a randomized controlled trial on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on high-risk college students with high blood pressure.
Dr Schneider conducted this study along with colleagues at American University in Washington, DC. The results of the trial showed reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure that were statistically and clinically highly significant. These results are 'associated with a 50 per cent reduction in risk for adult hypertension in these young people,' Dr Schneider said.
The study also showed changes in psychological stress in these same students, including reductions in total mood disturbance, anxiety, depression, anger, and hostility—as well as improvements in emotional coping and behavioural coping.
'These improvements in mental health were correlated with improvements in blood pressure, and therefore with physical health,' Dr Schneider said.
'School-based cardiovascular disease prevention programmes have the potential to make substantial contributions to improving child and adolescent health status . . . [and] can have significant impact on the nation's leading cause of death, ' Dr Schneider said.
'Prevention begins within,' he concluded.
*Eminent doctors, celebrities, and educators spoke at a 3 April press conference preceding the historic Paul McCartney benefit concert on 4 April at Radio City Music Hall, New York City, USA. The extraordinary achievements and goals of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace were presented at the press conference.
The 'Change Begins Within' benefit concert contributed funds to teach one million at-risk children Transcendental Meditation—giving them life-long tools to overcome stress and violence, and promote peace and success in their lives.
The concert was headlined by Paul McCartney, with special guests including Ringo Starr, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Moby, Paul Horn, Bettye LaVette, Donovan, and Jim James.
© Copyright 2009 Global Good News®
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