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Scientists at Maharishi University of Management contribute to breakthrough research on improved cardiovascular health
by Global Good News staff writer
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24 July 2013
Scientists at Maharishi University of Management have made important contributions to a growing body of research on Transcendental Meditation and improved cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Studies showing lower blood pressure as a result of Transcendental Meditation practice were considered as part of a scientific statement* from the American Heart Association (AHA), published in April 2013 in the journal Hypertension. The report concluded that the Transcendental Meditation technique lowers blood pressure and recommends that TM may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Its purpose was to inform physicians which alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure have been shown by research to be effective.
According to the AHA report, there was not enough scientific evidence to recommend other meditation or relaxation techniques. The report states, 'Because of many negative studies or mixed results and a paucity of available trials, all other meditation techniques (including MBSR) received a ''Class III, no benefit, Level of Evidence C'' recommendation. Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended in clinical practice to lower blood pressure at this time.'
The AHA scientific statement also reported that lower blood pressure through Transcendental Meditation practice is associated with substantially reduced rates of death, heart attack, and stroke.
This aspect of the report refers to research conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin in collaboration with the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at MUM; the lead author was Institute director Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, FABMR.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that African Americans with heart disease who regularly practised the Transcendental Meditation technique were 48 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die from all causes compared with African Americans who attended a health education class over more than five years. Hundreds of articles appeared in news media around the world when the study was first published last November.
Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, described the new AHA recommendations in a recent review of university achievements, praising the work of Dr Schneider and colleagues and noting that half a million physicians in the USA would be receiving a summary of the AHA's policy statement. He also commented that the results of the study published in Circulation illustrate how the disease-free society envisioned by MUM Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi would be realized. The current 48 per cent reduction results, Dr Morris explained, are found when Transcendental Meditation is introduced at a later stage in life when people are already suffering from heart disease. If the programme were introduced at an earlier age, for example as part of the educational system, there would be a widespread preventive and health-promoting effect and 'the world will be a completely different place.'
* Brook RD et al., Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension, 61:00, 2013.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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