Here’s something that’s super cool. A nine-year study was conducted and the results are pretty astonishing. We all know that meditation can help reduce stress, but who knew it would reduce heart disease by a whopping 47%.
What’s even cooler is that during this study, there were 2 groups. One group was instructed to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes only and the other group went through health and life style education. And at the end of 9 years, the meditation group had a profound reduction in heart disease, far higher than the other group that only went through health/life style education.
These kind of studies are BIG. Instead of reaching for a bottle of pills, doctors might now recommend meditation as a preventative means for high risk patients.
The full details are below in the article from the BBC titled “Meditation ‘Eases Heart Disease'” which we’ve fully reproduced here for your convenience.
It just goes to show how much meditation can affect a person’s body, mind, and spirit. Drop a comment below and let me know if you’ve ever experienced a shift in health from meditation. Would love to hear your stories.
Heart disease patients who practise Transcendental Meditation have reduced death rates, US researchers have said.
At a meeting of the American Heart Association they said they had randomly assigned 201 African Americans to meditate or to make lifestyle changes.
After nine years, the meditation group had a 47% reduction in deaths, heart attacks and strokes.
The research was carried out by the Medical College in Wisconsin with the Maharishi University in Iowa.
It was funded by a £2.3m grant from the National Institute of Health and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The African American men and women had an average age of 59 years and a narrowing of the arteries in their hearts.
The lifestyle change group received education classes in traditional risk factors, including dietary modification and exercise.
Over 9 years, there were 20 events (heart attacks, strokes or death) in the meditation group and 31 in the health education group.
Dr Robert Schneider, lead author and director of the Centre for Natural Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University in Iowa said:
“At the end of the 9 years, 80% of the meditation group were still practising at least once a day.
“But there was very little change in the health education group.
“Their lifestyle was much the same in terms of diet and exercise – it’s a very difficult thing to make those changes.”
As well as the reductions in death, heart attacks and strokes in the meditating group, their average blood pressure was significantly lower (5mm Hg), and there was a significant reduction in psychological stress in some participants.
Dr Schneider said other studies had shown the benefits of Transcendental Meditation on blood pressure and stress, irrespective of ethnicity.
“This is the first controlled clinical trial to show that long-term practise of this particular stress reduction programme reduces the incidence of clinical cardiovascular events, that is heart attacks, strokes and mortality,” he said.
Dr Schneider said that the effect of Transcendental Meditation in the trial was like adding a class of newly discovered drugs for the prevention of heart disease.
He said: “In this case, the new medications are derived from the body’s own internal pharmacy stimulated by the Transcendental Meditation practice.”
Ingrid Collins, a consultant educational psychologist at the London Medical Centre, said: “I’m not at all surprised that a change of behaviour like this can have enormous benefits both emotionally and physically.
“Physical and emotional energy is on a continuum and whatever happens to us physically can affect our emotions and vice versa.”
British Heart Foundation Cardiac Nurse Ellen Mason said: “This is a fascinating area and the results were impressive.
“However, in order to fully assess the difference transcendental meditation could have on heart patient’s lives, we need to see research confirming it in a far bigger study and with other ethnic groups.”
Are you a fan of meditation studies? We are as well. Check out this beautiful infographic from Normal Rosenthal on how transcendental meditation can boost your performances.