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Meta-analyses on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation programme for reduced anxiety and self-actualization
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 December 2007
In a recent Global Family Chat on the Maharishi Channel, Dr Michael Dillbeck, Raja (Administrator) of France for the Global Country of World Peace and the world's leading expert on the scientific research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Programme, continued his presentation on the different meta-analyses done on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation Programme.
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Dr Dillbeck reported that a meta-analysis published in 1989 in the journal Clinical Psychology was on the effects of Transcendental Meditation in reducing anxiety. 'Reduced anxiety is a very common finding [on Transcendental Meditation] in the research literature,' said Dr Dillbeck.
A researcher at Stanford University in the United States found 146 different study results looking at Transcendental Meditation and other meditation techniques or programmes to reduce stress and anxiety, such as progressive muscle relaxation. Meditation techniques of concentration and contemplation brought a very small reduction. The results for Transcendental Meditation were quite different from the other procedures and had two or three times the effect.
The researcher then asked a number of different questions, for example, the strength of research design. 'If a phenomenon is real then the effect will still be there even in the strongest studies,' Dr Dillbeck explained. Looking at the effects of Transcendental Meditation, the researcher found that the stronger the study he looked at, the larger the result.
'Not only was the result stable, it actually grew—meaning that if you do a better study, you'll find a stronger effect because you control many more variables. The key was that he found Transcendental Meditation was strikingly unique, as we saw in previous studies,' said Dr Dillbeck.
The next meta-analysis done was on improved self-actualization, published in 1991 in the journal Social Behavior and Personality. Here the researchers looked at the effects of Transcendental Meditation on increased positivity in the personality, personality growth, which is a more difficult concept to measure.
Self-actualization relates to different concepts of mental health which everyone agrees are characteristics of a mentally healthy person, said Dr Dillbeck. 'Self-actualization means that the inner value of the Self is more strong, more actualized in these people. They feel more secure, more happy, more creative, and more successful.'
This 1991 study found those practising Transcendental Meditation had markedly higher levels of self-actualization as compared to contemplation, concentration, or other techniques of self-development. Again there was a profoundly unique effect that was several times larger than with other procedures.
For a comprehensive review of the scientific research conducted on the Transcendental Meditation Programme, please see peer reviewed research and an annotated bibliography of scientific research.
Copyright © 2007 Global Good News(sm) Service.
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