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Reduced hypertension in at-risk college students through Transcendental Meditation: Lead author discusses new American University study methods, results
by Global Good News staff writer
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30 November 2009
A recent study, conducted at American University in Washington, DC, and to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, revealed that regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation Programme led to reduction of hypertension and stress, and an increase in coping ability, among college students at risk for hypertension.
Dr Sanford Nidich, lead author on the American University study, gave a detailed introduction to the study and reviewed results pertaining to hypertension, as well as reporting* on widespread media coverage of the new research.
Dr Nidich, who is Professor of Physiology, Health, and Education at Maharishi University of Management (M.U.M.) and Associate Director of M.U.M.'s Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, gave a detailed summary of the study, titled 'Randomized Control Trial on Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Blood Pressure, Psychological Distress, and Coping in Young Adults'.
For this randomized controlled study, 298 college students were selected, from American University and surrounding institutions such as Georgetown and University of the District of Columbia. The students were assigned randomly to two groups, one of which would be practising Transcendental Meditation daily, and the other a wait-list control group. In addition, a subgroup was formed of 159 students who were at risk for developing hypertension. Testing took place at baseline and after three months.
The most prominent results of the study were seen among the at-risk subgroup, in which students practising Transcendental Meditation displayed a significant drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after three months. The control group, in contrast, showed a slight increase in both blood pressure measures at the three-month mark. The reductions seen in the TM group, said Dr Nidich, are associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension later in life.
Global Good News will feature the conclusion of Dr Nidich's report in the coming days.
Dr Nidich also noted the wide media coverage of the American University study. He presented articles from ABC News and US News & World Report, both conveying the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for stress and high blood pressure among college students. Other major media reporting on the research included the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and numerous others throughout the US, England, Asia, and Africa.
Besides himself, Dr Nidich said, contributors to the study included Dr Robert Schneider, the principal investigator; Dr Fred Travis; and Dr Sarina Grosswald, all from the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention (of which Dr Schneider is Director), and the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at M.U.M. The study was conducted onsite at American University by David Haaga, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology.
* Dr Nidich's report was featured on the 28 November 2009 Maharishi Global Family Chat, broadcast daily via Internet webcast on the Maharishi Channel, Channel 3. Podcasts of the daily Global Family Chat (audio track) are also available for automatic download, via an RSS feed.
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