Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease with Meditation

Current research in Transcendental Meditation (TM) has shown that regular practice of meditation can significantlyreduce the risk of heart disease and other heart related problems.

TM made its way into western cultures in the latter part of the 20th century but has been used in the east for thousands of years. Initially used within religious contexts, it is now practiced as a way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and also to maintain and improve one’s health.

Learning the techniques of TM is a seven step process to aid relaxation and create calm within the body and mind.

The research was carried out on a select group of 201 African American recipients that suffer with coronary heart disease or CHD. It was found that African Americans are more susceptible to developing heart problems and researchers predicted stress reducing techniques such as meditation would reduce the risk of developing CHD and related issues.

The research itself was spread over a period of nine years from 1998 to 2007. One group would meditate 2 times per day for 20 minutes and the control group would engage in other activities ‘that were taught in a cardiovascular health education program’.

On completion of the research, it was found that there was a reduced risk of a heart attack or stroke and that there was a general reduction in blood pressure and overall stress but there was no significant improvement in peripheral factors of CHD such as depression, and isolation. These benefits outweighed the benefits of activities undertaken by the control group.

The overall conclusion of the study stated that although TM is not a cure for CHD there were positive benefits to the practice.

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