Meditation as Medicine

The relaxing and calming effects of meditation are well known to many of us, but scientists and researchers now have concrete evidence that meditation can help not just the mind and soul, but can have an incredible impact on the body too.

A $3.8 million US study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has found that patients with coronary heart disease who practiced the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) have an almost 50 per cent lower rate of heart attack, stroke and death compared to a matched group that didn’t meditate.

The trial followed 201 men and women for nine years. The research subjects had an average age of 59 and were all diagnosed with narrowing of the arteries in their hearts.

Participants continued their usual medical care during the study, but half we randomly assigned to a group that practiced stress-reducing TM and the other half were placed in a non-meditating group that received health education classes covering standard cardiovascular risk factors.

Those in the TM group also recorded a significant reduction in blood pressure and reduced psychological stress.

The results of the study were presented on 16 November at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida.


Struggling with meditation? Finding it hard to clear your mind? Try a guided meditation session, giving you something tangible to focus on. I’d recommend the Headspace app and the free Take 10 program, which gives you ten minutes of guided meditation for ten days. Light on commitment, high on impact…

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