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National Stress Awareness Month, USA - Transcendental Meditation relieves high blood pressure, school violence, and post-traumatic stress disorder
by Global Good News staff writer
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6 April 2010
'A new scientific research study* conducted at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine provides further evidence that people with high blood pressure can find relief through meditation,' says Gary Kaplan, MD, associate professor of clinical neurology at New York University School of Medicine. 'The study compared findings from research on several well-known types of meditation and relaxation practices, and found that the only mind/body practice that produces significant changes in blood pressure is the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Technique.'
See Part I of this feature on National Stress Awareness Month (USA).
According to Robert Schneider, MD, co-author of the study and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management, 'Here is a scientifically documented, yet simple and easy way to lower blood pressure without drugs and harmful side effects.' In fact the research shows 'side benefits', such as reduced stress and reduced heart disease.
The stress epidemic is not limited to adults. 'For our children who are growing up in a stressful, often frightening, crisis-ridden world, Transcendental Meditation is a necessity,' says filmmaker David Lynch. Concerned about a generation for whom violence is an everyday experience, he established the David Lynch Foundation and partnered with the US Committee for Stress-Free Schools. The result is the Quiet Time Programme, which includes the option for school administrators and students to learn the Transcendental Meditation Technique.
Research shows improved academic performance and more positive behaviour as a result of the programme. Principals and faculty describe schools 'transformed', and the children themselves report less anger, greater happiness, and improved ability to focus.**
Perhaps the most severe levels of stress are experienced by people in the military. According to the US Veterans Administration, up to 35 per cent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A 1985 study of Vietnam veterans*** showed that three months' practice of Transcendental Meditation significantly reduced emotional numbness, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, insomnia, and family problems.
In a recent interview, a young US Army veteran diagnosed with PTSD said that 'for the past five years I had anxiety attacks every day. . . . I could tolerate it, but I didn't want to be that way.' After learning TM, he says, 'I can live again'. Another soldier said he experienced relief in his very first session of Transcendental Meditation.****
Most people don't have to deal with metal detectors or PTSD, but everyone still needs to be aware of the long-term effects of everyday stress. Just as one chooses investments by looking at track records, it makes sense to choose stress management programmes by looking at verifiable data.
* Published in the American Journal of Hypertension, Vol. 21, 3: 310-316.
**Listen to school administrators and students describe the benefits of the Quiet Time Programme at www.tmeducation.org/david-lynch-foundation-videos.
***Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Counseling and Development, 1985.
****PTSD: Prevention and treatment—Watch the interview at www.dlfprojects.org/ptsd.html.
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