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New US study to examine adding Transcendental Meditation to standard care for heart disease patients
by Global Good News staff writer
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25 December 2009
A new study will examine how adding the Transcendental Meditation Programme to standard care for heart disease patients compares with standard care alone.
'We're randomizing individuals who have had a heart attack or heart surgery . . . ,' said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, director of the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention.*
'Once you've had a clinical event, you're very prone to a recurrent clinical event. These people are very motivated to take care of their condition,' Dr Schneider said.**
All the subjects in this study will receive conventional cardiac rehabilitation, he explained.
For three months, they will go to a gym three times a week—under a doctor's supervision. They will ride a bike, or run on a treadmill—all under medical supervision. 'So they will get fairly rigorous, medically supervised exercise,' Dr Schneider said. They will also have classes about dietary modification and other lifestyle modification.
'This, until now, has been the standard of care, the best modern medicine has to offer—in addition to intensive drug therapy—for rehabilitation of these individuals who have already had a heart attack.
'We're starting with this group of people, and then half of them will be randomized to receive Transcendental Meditation on top of their standard care cardiac rehabilitation; and then the other group will get the standard cardiac rehabilitation alone,' Dr Schneider said.
'This will be old therapy versus new therapy—just the kind of design that modern medicine uses when they are looking at new therapies. . . . Then with the results, doctors can decide, ''Do we use the old therapy, or do we use the new therapy?'' '
'It's really a test of comparative effectiveness of an old therapy, or the current therapy—which is considered top-of-the-line in conventional medicine—compared to top-of-the-line conventional therapy plus this new addition from Maharishi Ayur-Veda, this Transcendental Consciousness experience,' Dr Schneider explained.
Because of the precise imaging*** used in the new study, results can be quantified relatively quickly. The study is expected to be completed over the course of about two years.
'We're looking forward to presenting this new information to our [US] President and his health care team and advisors, who have called for this kind of research**** to improve the healthcare of America, and ultimately of the world,' Dr Schneider concluded.
*Robert Schneider, MD, is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology; Director of the Institute of Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, and Dean of the Maharishi College of Perfect Health; Director of Health in the national administration of Dr John Hagelin; and Deputy Minister of Health for the Global Country of World Peace. He authored the book, Total Heart Health—How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health.
**Dr Schneider's report was featured on the 10 December 2009 Maharishi Global Family Chat, broadcast daily via Internet webcast on the Maharishi Channel, Channel 3. Podcasts of the daily Global Family Chat (audio track) are also now available for automatic download, via an RSS feed.
***Please see Part II of this series: US: Advanced cardiac imaging technology allows researchers to examine effect of Transcendental Meditation on the heart itself
****Please see Part I of this series: US: Transcendental Meditation study receives funding through federally sponsored competition
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