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Research finds reduction of major cardiovascular disease predictor in minority adolescents practising Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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18 September 2012
A review of recent research on Transcendental Meditation highlighted a study conducted by Dr Vernon Barnes and associates at Georgia Health Sciences University, one of many published studies investigating the effects of Transcendental Meditation on the cardiovascular system. Dr Barnes has conducted a number of research studies at GHSU.
Dr Michael Dillbeck, a widely published researcher on the physiological, cognitive, and sociological effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique, described this as one of five new research studies that have come out in recent months, 'which are very interesting to show the vast range of results on the Transcendental Meditation programme and the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programme—in particular the depth to which the research has gone in recent years.'
This research is also of special interest as it studied these effects in minority adolescent students, who are subject to high levels of stress and are at increasing risk for developing hypertension and heart disease.
'Dr Barnes did a study on what is called ''Reduction of Left Ventricular Mass,'' ' Dr Dillbeck explained. Left ventricular hypertrophy is one of the major predictors of cardiovascular disease, he said, describing how in ventricular hypertrophy, the muscles of the heart become overworked, creating an unhealthy effect on the heart.
There can be a healthy cardiac hypertrophy, Dr Dillbeck said—'in other words, when one exercises a lot, like an athlete, the normal response at such a level of exercise is an increase in the muscle mass of the heart. But that muscle mass is associated with the increased pumping ability of the heart, contributing to a healthy heart.
'However, there is also an unhealthy hypertrophy of the heart, which is pathological, and that's the response to stress, or to some diseases such as hypertension, heart attacks, and even bad effects of the wrong neurohormones—that can all contribute.' This pathological kind of hypertrophy, he said, leads to an increase in muscle mass, 'but the muscles don't contribute to the pumping ability of the heart—just the opposite, it accumulates a kind of scarring, and the heart increases its mass but not to good effect.'
This condition turns out to be one of the major predictors of cardivascular disease and mortality, Dr Dillbeck said, particularly when it involves the left ventricle.
'This was a study of minority adolescents in the United States who were subject to a lot of stress, and who were already showing high blood pressure,' an unfortunate sign for the future for them. The 100 students were randomly assigned to either the control group, which participated in a health education class, and the others were instructed in Transcendental Meditation.
'After eight months, the effect was that left ventricular mass was reduced in those who learned Transcendental Meditation—which is a very unique finding, showing that the body was normalizing itself very profoundly at this young age.' In a separate study of the same sample, published a couple of years ago, they also found reduction of high blood pressure, he said.
'The study, published in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,* shows a very profound influence of Transcendental Meditation on the whole function of the heart,' Dr Dillbeck commented in conclusion.
Vernon A. Barnes, Gaston K. Kapuku, Frank A. Treiber. 'Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Left Ventricular Mass in African American Adolescents'. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012; 2012: 1 DOI: 10.1155/2012/923153
© Copyright 2012 Global Good News®
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