The great thing about Transcendental Meditation is that it has not only been verified by over 6 million people’s personal experience but also by the extensive scientific research that has been conducted over the past 5 decades.
In fact, over 600 scientific research studies have been conducted at more than 250 independent research institutions worldwide, including; Harvard Medical School, Princeton University, Stanford Medical School, University of New South Wales and Moscow Brain Research Institute of the Academy of Medical Science in Russia.
This research has documented the powerful effect that Transcendental Meditation has on:
- Developing Full Mental Potential
- Improving all Aspects of Health and Well Being
- Cultivating Better Relationships
- Unfolding Individual Peace and Peace in Society.
Has this research been published?
Yes, more than 380 peer reviewed research studies have been published in over 160 leading scientific journals including; Science, Lancet, International Journal of Neuroscience and Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology.
Highlights of recent published studies:
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, November 2012, a journal of the American Heart Association: 5-year randomized controlled study on patients with established coronary heart disease reported a 48% reduction in death, heart attack, and stroke in subjects in the TM group compared to controls.
Hypertension, June 2013: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association concluded that the TM technique is the only meditation practice that has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, October 2013: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) found significantly greater effect of TM in reducing trait anxiety than treatment-as-usual and other alternative treatments, including mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) and other meditation and relaxation practices.
When the mind transcends the finest impulse of thought, it comes into a state of complete inner silence. This happens in a completely natural and effortless way. We can’t try to make the mind silent, nor do we have to. With the right technique, the mind will go there by itself. When the mind transcends, the body spontaneously comes into a very deep state of relaxation as well, far deeper than that attained even in deep sleep.
This can be objectively measured by monitoring oxygen consumption. This graph, from a Harvard Medical School research study, shows that, during TM, the body comes into a state of rest that is twice as deep as even the deepest rest during sleep. More than 30 studies around the world have confirmed this deep rest during TM practice.
This deep rest activates the inner healing power in our own bodies. Relaxation means relaxing tensions. The body has a completely natural way to remove tensions that it accumulates. This is what happens during sleep but the rest during sleep doesn’t always go deep enough to remove more deeply-rooted, traumatic stresses. Transcending gives a level of rest that can help dissolve those deeper rooted stresses.
Scientific research on war veterans has shown that the Transcendental Meditation technique lead to significant reductions in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, depression and insomnia. And, after only 3 months of practice, 70% of the war veterans required no further treatment. The control group that received standard psychotherapy showed no improvement.
Stress disturbs the normal functioning of the brain, causing, amongst other things, a decrease in the production of the “happiness hormone,” serotonin. A lack of serotonin influences not only our inner sense of happiness but is also associated with migraines, sleep disorders, anxiety, anger outbursts, Alzheimer’s, eating disorders, addictions and many others. One can try to influence serotonin artificially (as anti-depressants seem to do) but this only treats the symptoms, not the real problem.
The experience of transcending, on the other hand, activates the body’s own healing ability so that the brain can function normally. The result? A completely natural increase in serotonin production during the TM practice and, eventually, during the rest of the day. This has implications in all areas of life as can be seen on this site.
Transcending = Activating our own inner healing power
When stress can accumulate throughout life, it will eventually disturb the natural functioning of our nervous system, resulting in all kinds of psychological or physical health problems. It is estimated that 80 to 90% of all diseases are directly or indirectly related to stress.
Transcending allows the body to remove even our deepest stresses, and thereby remove the cause of most health problems. We are far more powerful to heal ourselves than we believe.
Hundreds of studies, including more than $25 Million on TM research in cooperation with the US National Institutes of Health, the biggest health research institute in the world, have confirmed the effects of transcending on our health. Below are findings from both the Cleveland Clinic and The American Heart Association.
“Transcendental Meditation doesn’t focus on breathing or chanting, like other forms of meditation. Instead, it encourages a restful state of mind beyond thinking… A 2009 study found Transcendental Meditation helped alleviate stress in college students, while another found it helped reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression and anger.”
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association scientific statement concluded that the TM technique is the only meditation practice that has been shown to lower blood pressure and recommends that TM may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. The statement also reported the finding that lower blood pressure through Transcendental Meditation practice is associated with substantially reduced rates of death, heart attack and stroke. Hypertension, 61:00, June 2013
Dr Norman Rosenthal answers Questions:
What convinced you that TM might have real health/medical applications?
As a scientist and researcher, I am persuaded by data – and the data in favour of TM’s health benefits is compelling. Consider cardiovascular disease (CVD) for example, the end results of which include heart attacks and strokes. CVD is the number one killer in all developed countries and costs us billions of dollars every year. In multiple studies, TM has been shown to reduce blood pressure, the so-called “silent killer.” Most important – and really amazing, when you come to think of it – TM has actually been shown to prolong life significantly in people at risk for CVD, in two separate studies. One of these studies was published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2005; the other is currently in press in Archives of Internal Medicine – both mainstream medical journals.
How does TM work? Does it have a physical effect on the brain or body chemistry?
TM does a number of important things. It has an effect on brain waves, promoting alpha waves – which are associated with calmness – especially in the frontal areas of the brain, which are necessary for making good judgments and decisions. Also, TM seems to bring brain waves in different regions more closely in step with one another, boosting the brain’s efficiency and the individual’s competency. Along with these brain changes, we see changes in the body, which persist throughout the day. That part of the nervous system responsible for fight or flight responses calms down. Although we still react to stresses, the nervous system settles down more quickly, which is good for our heart and blood vessels. It’s as though we now have a surge protector to cushion the impact of stress and strain.