Transcendental Meditation, once the mainstay of tie-dyed hippies and new age
"healers", has been hailed by US researchers as a preventative measure for heart
The meditation practice, which followers believe aids "development of
consciousness", was introduced in India in 1955 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and
popularised in the 1960s by the Beatles, who travelled to India to meet its
In the 50 years since then it has dropped off the public radar. That is until
researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Iowa's Maharishi University
decided to test the effects of Transcendental Meditation on heart disease
Scientists randomly assigned meditation or other lifestyle changes to 201
African-Americans with an average age of 59, all of whom had a narrowing of the
arteries in their hearts.
The meditation group were asked to practise for 20 minutes twice a day, while
the lifestyle change group received education classes in traditional risk
factors, including dietary modification and exercise.
Nine years later, the meditation group had a 47% reduction in deaths, heart
attacks and strokes, suffering 20 such incidents, while the lifestyle changes
group suffered 31.
Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Centre for Natural Medicine and Prevention
at the Maharishi University in Iowa, said the effect of Transcendental
Meditation in the trial was like adding a class of newly discovered drugs for
the prevention of heart disease.
"In this case, the new medications are derived from the body's own internal
pharmacy stimulated by the Transcendental Meditation practice," he added.
Source : Sideways News Ltd