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26 research studies published by journal
by Jim Karpen
Maharishi University of Management Review Translate This Article
18 April 2005
The 26 studies published this month in a special journal issue include seminal research on the effects of building orientation, hormonal changes of nonmeditating Fairfield residents associated with changes in the size of the group practice in the Domes, and advances in cognitive development in children practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique.
The special issue of the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality is dedicated to the late Charles Alexander, and many of the studies included were presented at a conference held in his honor. The studies cover the application of Maharishi Vedic Science(SM) in fields such as psychology, health and aging, management, public policy, and collective consciousness and peace studies.
Effects on Nonmeditators
Among the most striking of the articles is the one reporting fluctuations in hormone levels of nonmeditators in Fairfield corresponding to changes in the size of the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs in the Domes.
Researchers Ken Walton, Ken Cavanaugh, and Nirmal Pugh studied the levels of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) and serotonin (a hormone associated with mental well-being) over a 90-day period in six subjects.
They found that increasing the number of Yogic Flyers in the Domes correlated with a decrease in cortisol and an increase in serotonin. The statistical method of time series analysis used by the researchers not only showed a correlation but also suggested a causal effect. 'We have hypothesized that group practice of the TM-Sidhi program can affect society, and this study helps to understand the effect,' Dr. Walton said.
'Group practice actually reduces the effects of stress in those in the vicinity in a manner similar to the reduction within the individual meditator when he practices the Transcendental Meditation program.'
South Entrances, North-Facing Beds
In one of two studies on the topic of Maharishi Sthåpatya Veda design, a team of researchers led by Fred Travis found that homes that have a south entrance had 75 percent more burglaries than homes with other orientations.
A second study looked at whether the orientation of one's bed can affect health and well-being. University researchers collaborated with a physician in private practice in Ottumwa to give a questionnaire to 167 patients in order to assess each person's relative health and quality of life to see how that correlated with direction of sleep and with the direction of the home's entrance.
The results showed that individuals sleeping with their heads pointing north had significantly lower scores on the Mental Health Inventory compared to patients who slept in other directions.
In addition, patients whose homes had south entrances had significantly poorer overall scores on the standardized Mental Health Inventory than patients with north, northeast, or east entrances. And they also reported more financial problems.
Cognitive Development in Children
Three studies in the issue show that children between the ages of five and ten who learn a special form of the Transcendental Meditation technique for children speed up their passage through the classic stages of cognitive development defined by Jean Piaget.
In addition, two of the studies show that children who meditate also demonstrate greater analytic ability, conceptual maturity, and sustained attention, as well as marked increases in general intelligence as measured by standardized tests.
Personal Development in Alumni
A longitudinal study by Howard Chandler, Charles Alexander, and Dennis Heaton showed that alumni of Maharishi University of Management continued personal development for at least ten years after graduation while comparison groups over the same period either went backwards or showed no development.
The research used standard measures of personal development including assessments of ego development and principled moral reasoning.
Increase in Longevity
And an eight-year follow-up study led by Vernon Barnes and RobertSchneider found that older individuals with hypertension who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique live longer.
The research showed that practitioners have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all other causes. Compared to two other groups, participants in the Transcendental Meditation technique group were 81 percent less likely to have died from cardiovascular disease and 68 percent less likely to have died from cancer.
Copyright 2005, Maharishi University of Management
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