Transcending has an effect on blood pressure that sometimes even medication cannot achieve…with positive side-benefits.
American Heart Association recommends TM
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently published an analysis of 40 years of research around all methods for lowering blood pressure. Their conclusion on meditation techniques was that TM was the only technique for which a real effect could be demonstrated. In their publication they therefore gave the green light to doctors to use TM as a method of clinical treatment for High Blood Pressure. All other meditation and relaxation techniques, including Mindfulness and Yoga, were not recommended, as there was no scientific proof that these had a positive effect on blood pressure.
How can a simple meditation technique lower blood pressure?
It is generally known that when we are tense, blood pressure increases. Transcending, the state of consciousness spontaneously reached through the practice of TM, coincides with a very deep state of relaxation, causing blood pressure to lower and also activating a powerful capability within the body to heal itself, to correct internally what is wrong. (see transcending = activation of the body’s own healing power). This, in the long term, results in the ability to remain more relaxed outside of meditation, and to permanently lower blood pressure.
This can be measured for example by measuring the plasma (blood) lactate (a stress hormone related to high blood pressure). Analysis of the average values of 31 different TM studies demonstrates that plasma lactate strongly decreased during TM practice, much more so than during relaxation or even sleep, and after 3-4 months remained at lower levels even outside of TM practice.
Medication can lower blood pressure, but is can be costly and may have all kinds of adverse side-effects. Moreover, it often only suppresses the symptoms, without really solving the problem. From the moment medication is stopped, blood pressure usually increases again. However, transcending turns out to have a long-term effect. By bringing the individual back to him/her self and giving the body a chance to heal itself, all aspects of life improve; health, well-being, relationships, success and even society as a whole.
The long term effect of TM on Hypertension: Scientific research
The research around the effect of TM on high blood pressure is significiant for two reasons:
1. It demonstrates a significient effect, as hypertension is difficult to heal.
2. This effect is confirmed through several studies of high quality.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a research institute of the American government known for its high research standards. Despite them being selective about the research projects they support, they have spent over 24 million USD in support of research on the effect of Transcendental Meditation on the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. The reason: Transcendental Meditation really works.
This one study, for example, followed 127 African-American test subjects with an average blood pressure of 179/104 mm Hg at the start of the study. They were randomly divided into 3 groups, a TM group, a group that practiced a relaxation technique (progressive muscle relaxation) and a control group that received health education around the importance of changing their lifestyle. Researchers did not know who belonged to which group.
Within three months the blood pressure in the TM group had lowered by 10.7/6.4 mm Hg as compared to the control group, which showed no significant change. (p<.0003/p<.00005 what is a p-value?) The relaxation group showed a slight decrease, but 3 times less than the TM group.Ref.Hypertension 26: 820–827, 1995
TM turns out to be the most successful alternative treatment that works.
The Transcendental Meditation technique turns out to be by far, the only alternative treatment that works.
The following study is an NIH sponsored meta-analysis, a calculation of the average effect of all studies ever published, both on the Transcendental Meditation technique as well as other alternative stress-reducing methods ever researched. It demonstrated that only TM had a statistically significant effect on lowering blood pressure (average -5 mmHg p<.0002). This research was published in Current Hypertension Reports 9: 520–528, 2007. Read the full publication here.
This effect is not as a large as in the previous study, because most TM studies are carried out with individuals with mild hypertension, whereas in the previous study blood pressure was very high at the start of the study. The red line in most TM studies is that the more the patient requires it, the bigger the effect. Transcendental Meditation has a balancing effect on the entire nervous system, and the more the system is out of balance, the bigger the normalising effect.
Other NIH studies have found that:
– Many Transcendental Meditation practitioners are able to reduce or even stop their use of blood pressure-lowering medication, without blood pressure subsequently increasing.
– TM also works to reverse hypertension in younger people.
– TM reduces insulin resistance, see diabetes
– Among heart patients that were followed for 9 years, the TM group had 43% less instances of heart attack, stroke or death. For those who practiced TM regularly, the difference was 61%; see heart problems
– Arterosclerosis reduces for TM practitioners, see atherosclerosis
In total more than 30 studies were carried out around the effect of Transcendental Meditation on high blood pressure. These confirm the effect for several age groups in different parts of the world. You can find some examples here: research high blood pressure (more research will be added later).
For the NIH study (with full publications) go to: http://www.doctorsontm.com/national-institutes-of-health
Doctors support TM
The NIH research has led to Dr. Mehmet Oz, America’s most famous doctor and currently possibly the most influential heart-specialist in the world, fully supports the Transcendental Meditation technique in his TV programme. In his presentation Dr. Oz discusses the effect of TM on 3 big risk factors for heart problems: (1) high blood pressure, (2) high cholesterol and (3) diabetes.
For more questions about the effect of TM on high blood pressure, and a deeper insight into how it actually works, go to: doctors answer questions: TM and hypertension