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US: First study on effects of Transcendental Meditation in an American Indian diabetic population
by Global Good News staff writer
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13 November 2009
American Indians from the Winnebago tribe in Nebraska, USA are participating in a new study on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation Programme for diabetes.
'We were very thrilled when the Ho-Chunk elders invited us to design and direct a study to look at the effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique for improving the health of diabetics in the tribe,' said Dr Carolyn King, one of the head researchers.
Benefits have been reported, but they want to have systematic documentation from a larger group of people, Dr King continued. Researchers received a grant from the David Lynch Foundation to begin the trial.
'We will be randomizing people and we will look at whether or not there are improvements in glucose control, blood pressure, and lipids for reducing the complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, amputations. . . ,' Dr King said.*
'Large scale studies have shown that those are three very important factors—if they are strictly controlled—that can lead to . . . improvements in the health outcomes of diabetics,' she continued.
'Studies have also shown that chronic stress levels on American Indian reservations contribute to the epidemic proportions of diabetes. . . .'
Dr King explained that previous research on the Transcendental Meditation Technique has shown that it 'normalizes the stress response [and] improves risk factors for diabetes complications. . . .
'This will be the first study on the effects of Transcendental Meditation in an American Indian diabetic population,' she said, and it will be conducted in collaboration with the director of tribal health, community health care leaders, the Winnebago Treaty Hospital, and the Ho-Chunk elders.
* Dr Carolyn King spoke at a press conference on 'Building Healthy, Sustainable American Indian Communities'—which preceded a historic three-day international symposium on the same theme, 25-27 September at Maharishi University of Management in 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.
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