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With Transcendental Meditation, addiction relapse rates decrease over time
by Global Good News staff writer
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20 November 2012
At a conference on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery, Dr Norman Rosenthal spoke about using Transcendental Meditation to treat addiction.
Dr Rosenthal is a distinguished psychiatrist who earlier in his career led the team of researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (US) who first described Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).* Author or coauthor of over 200 professional articles, Dr Rosenthal talked about the body of scientific evidence linking Transcendental Meditation with recovery from addiction.
He referenced the book Self-Recovery: Treating Addictions using Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Ayur-Veda by David F O'Connell and Charles N Alexander.
'Alexander reviewed 19 studies conducted between 1970 and 1994', Dr Rosenthal said. 'All but two showed significant reductions in the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs in diverse groups throughout the world.'
The studies were conducted in a range of environments and with a range of methods, but the results were consistent, he said. Six of the studies were rigorously designed, while 13 were less well-planned, 'but the results were similar in all: TM helped'.
Dr Rosenthal added that the results were unusual in the level of effectiveness they showed.
'In general,' he said, 'the longer people had been meditating by study's end, the better the outcome. This is often different when you look at addiction studies, because the longer you go, the higher the relapse rates. So this [finding] was in the opposite direction.'
The studies found that relapse rates decrease over time in those who kept practising Transcendental Meditation.
Toward the end of his speech, Dr Rosenthal added that Transcendental Meditation has many other applications besides treating addiction.
'One of the most interesting developments,' he said, 'is the incorporation of TM into organizations.'
Dr Rosenthal cited the example of Oprah Winfrey having her entire Harpo Studios staff learn Transcendental Meditation. She gives them time during the day to meditate and says that this simple change has revolutionized the way people get on. They have fewer migraines, better interpersonal relationships, and better interoffice relations.
* Dr Rosenthal is also the author of five books, most recently the New York Times bestseller Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Transcendental Meditation soothes addictive cravings: Musician Moby's experience
∙ 'Transcendence treated the hole in my soul,' former longtime addict says
∙ Transcendental Meditation 'surge protector' against flood of stress hormones, helps reduce mortality, addictions
∙ Training the nervous system not to overreact: Transcendental Meditation powerful tool in addiction recovery
∙ Conference on addictions highlights 'demonstrable health benefits of Transcendental Meditation'
∙ Transcendental Meditation increases brain coherence, quiets 'alarm bells' - helps reduce addiction
∙ Expert on Transcendence describes three different kinds of meditation
∙ Meditation long used to treat addictions: Dr Norman Rosenthal
∙ Dr Norman Rosenthal addresses conference on stress, addiction, and Transcendental Meditation
∙ Using Transcendental Meditation in addiction recovery: Dr Norman Rosenthal
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