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Relief from the stress syndrome through the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Ask the Doctors -    Translate This Article
26 August 2011

Cognitive learning expert Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D.,* answers questions about effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique in promoting relief from stress.

Q: I get really stressed by things that don't bother other people, like talking in front of a group or having to meet a deadline. Can TM help? 
Dr. Grosswald:
Well, there is no ''stressometer,'' or standard measure of stress. What someone considers stressful is stressful for that person, whether it is stressful for someone else or not, and your susceptibility to stress depends a lot on your physiology.

With regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, your tolerance to stress increases, allowing you to become less susceptible to it, almost like a stress vaccine.

Q: Is there any research to show these effects? 
Dr. Grosswald:
Research shows that the Transcendental Meditation program is effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and even symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. You could think of stress as a continuum—from the lowest level of stress to post-traumatic stress disorder at the high end. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to be effective across the spectrum.

Q: I can't concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. I'm afraid I'll never be able to meditate properly. 
Dr. Grosswald:
That's the beauty of the Transcendental Meditation technique: it doesn't require concentration or focus or anything that's difficult. In fact, the process is the exact opposite of that. It's very easy and natural to do, and it makes use of the mind's natural tendency to move from thought to thought. It allows the mind to settle down and experience quieter and quieter aspects of your own thoughts, until eventually you experience the source of thought, or silence.

People say that even when they couldn't do other techniques, they found the Transcendental Meditation technique to be easy and simple. They'll say, ''Oh, I can't meditate,'' or ''I tried some kind of meditation, and it didn't work.'' Then they try the Transcendental Meditation program, and they find it easy to practice.

Click here for more about Transcendental Meditation and the stress syndrome, including related research showing reduced stress and faster recovery from stress.

* Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D., is an expert in cognitive learning who recently directed the first-of-its-kind research study on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on children with language-based learning disabilities. Dr. Grosswald and her work have been extensively featured in the national media, including PBS and ABC News.

© Copyright 2011 American Association of Physicians Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique

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