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Uniqueness of Transcendental Meditation technique highlighted by results of new research review
Maharishi University of Management Translate This Article
17 October 2012
The uniqueness of the outcomes of the Transcendental Meditation technique may have something to do with the mechanics of the practice of the technique itself, says Dr. Vernon Barnes, research scientist at Georgia Health Sciences University, in Augusta, Georgia, USA.
''Meditation practices are different from each other and therefore produce different results. And this is a very important consideration when evaluating the application of meditation as an alternative and complementary medical approach.''
Dr. Barnes is lead author of a new research review paper on the effects of the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on the prevention and treatment of heart disease among youth and adults—which provides the hard evidence needed to include such evidence-based alternative approaches into private- and government-sponsored wellness programs aimed at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.
The paper, ''Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation® Program: A Research Review Update,'' is published in Current Hypertension Reviews, 2012, Vol. 8, No. 3.
Please see Part I of this article: Hard evidence grows for including meditation in government-sponsored health programmes
Regarding the uniqueness of the Transcendental Meditation technique, a paper in Consciousness and Cognition discusses three categories to organize and better understand meditation. See Are all meditation techniques the same?
The two common categories are focused attention, concentrating on an object or an emotion, like compassion; and open monitoring, being mindful of one's breath or thoughts, either contemplating the meaning of them, or just observing them.
Transcendental Meditation uses a different approach and comes under the third category of automatic self-transcending, meditations that transcend their own activity.
The TM technique does not employ any active form of concentration or contemplation, but allows the mind to effortlessly experience the thought process at more refined levels until thinking comes to a quiet settled state without any mental activity. The mind is awake inside and the body is resting deeply, a level of rest much deeper than deep sleep.
It is this state of restful alertness, scientists say, that allows the body to make the necessary repairs to rebalance its normal functioning. This cumulative process resets the physiology and shows up as reduced symptoms of cardiovascular disease and improved health.
Contact: Ken Chawkin
Maharishi University of Management
© Copyright 2012 by AAAS, the science society
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