Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Second study to show Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in African Refugees—in just 10 days

February 10, 2014

Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTSD in African refugees within 10 days

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

African civilians in war-torn countries have experienced the threat of violence or death, and many have witnessed the abuse, torture, rape and even murder of loved ones. Many Congolese living in Ugandan refugee camps are suffering from severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

New research shows that Congolese war refugees who learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique showed a significant reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder in just 10 days, according to a study published today in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 1–119).

In the study, “Significant Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Congolese Refugees within 10 days Transcendental Meditation Practice,” 11 subjects were tested after 10-days and 30-days TM practice. After just 10-days PTSD symptoms dropped almost 30 points.

“An earlier study found a similar result after 30 days where 90% of TM subjects dropped to a non-symptomatic level. But we were surprised to see such a significant reduction with this group after just 10 days,” said study author Brian Rees, MD, MPH.

The subjects were assessed using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians, (PCL-C), which rates the severity of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85. A score below 35 means the symptoms of PTSD have abated.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

The subjects in the study initially tested with an average score of 77.9. After just 10 days of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD test scores dropped to an average of 48, which was highly significant clinically.

Thirty days later the subjects were tested again with their PTSD scores falling to an average of 35.3 — meaning that they were nearly without symptoms of PTSD.

“What makes this study interesting is when we tested them in the 90 days before they began the TM technique, their PTSD scores kept going up,” said coauthor Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. “During that period their scores were rising, from 68.5 at the beginning to 77.9 after 90 days. But once they started the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD scores plummeted.”

According to the researchers, during this particular meditation technique one experiences a deep state of restful alertness. Repeated experience of this state for 20 minutes twice a day cultures the nervous system to maintain settled mental and physical functioning the rest of the day. This helps to minimize disturbing thoughts, sleep difficulties, and other adverse PTSD symptoms.

In this video, Dr. Travis explains the neurophysiology of trauma and how TM relieves it. He says, “Something very profound is happening. Because experience changes the brain, and trauma locks in a specific brain functioning (the over stimulated amygdala), you’re stuck in a specific way of thinking and feeling, (vigilance, fear and mistrust) and appreciating the world.” He further explains how the experience of transcending, with Transcendental Meditation, calms the amygdala, relieves PTS symptoms and frees the individual “to see more possibilities.”

Congolese refugee Esperance Ndozi and her 5 children

Congolese refugee Esperance Ndozi and her 5 children

Esperance Ndozi was one of the Congolese refugees traumatized by the civil war. The 35-year old mother of 5 was part of the group of refugees that learned TM. Before learning the effortless technique, Esperance couldn’t find relief from a flood of dark disturbing memories. She could hardly sleep. After a week of meditating 20-minutes twice a day she describes increasing relaxation and relief from PTSD symptoms. “Your mind, your body relaxes. You feel you are out of the outside world. You are just in your peaceful world. No negativity. It doesn’t come near me now.” Like other refugees in the study the calm and peace grew to last throughout the day. Watch the video.

A previous study of Congolese refugees, which involved 42 subjects found that the Transcendental Meditation group had an average Checklist score of below 35 after 30 days, a non-symptomatic level, while the average score of the control group actually worsened over the same period.

“This is now the fourth study to show an improvement in PTSD,” said Dr. Rees, a colonel in the US Army Reserve Medical Corps. “The Transcendental Meditation technique is increasingly being seen as a viable treatment by the US military.”*

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Study co-author Dr Fred Travis is a professor of neurophysiology at Maharishi University of Management, an accredited university to the PhD level, where Transcendental Meditation is incorporated into its curriculum and practiced by faculty and students. This provides a way for students, including veterans, to reduce the effects of past stress and trauma, and make learning easier and more enjoyable. www.mum.edu

This study was funded in part by the David Lynch Foundation. www.davidlynchfoundation.org/africa

The Journal of Traumatic Stress is published on behalf of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Source: EurekAlert!

*Two earlier studies have shown the Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique to effectively lower post-traumatic stress in veterans of Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

See first refugee study: New study shows Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTS in African refugees

New study shows TM significantly improved school graduation rates, world press reports

June 14, 2013

New Transcendental Meditation Study Published in Education

This week the world press have been reporting on a collaborative study conducted by researchers Robert Colbert of the University of Connecticut and Sanford Nidich of Maharishi University of Management on meditation and graduation rates. The study, Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Graduation, College Acceptance and Dropout Rates for Students Attending an Urban Public High School, was funded by the David Lynch Foundation, and published in the journal Education, Vol. 133, No. 4, Summer 2013.

The new study is the first to look at the effect of Transcendental Meditation practice on graduation, college acceptance and dropout rates, and follows previously published research by Nidich et al on increased academic achievement and reduced psychological stress in urban school students. The press release, Transcendental Meditation positively impacts student graduation rates, new research shows, included two graphs, and was sent out worldwide to over 5000 science writers by EurekAlert!/AAAS. Here is the Summary and citation for this latest study:

High school graduation rates remain low with racial and ethnic gaps adding to the decline. Graduating versus dropping out translates into higher earning potential, less crime and incarceration, and less dependence on government assistance. A new study published in the journal Education shows practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique resulted in a 15 percent higher graduation rate compared to controls. In low academically performing students a 25 percent difference in graduation rates was observed.

Colbert, R.D. and Nidich, S. (2013). Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Graduation, College Acceptance and Dropout Rates for Students Attending an Urban Public High School. Education, 133 (4), 495-501.

World Press Reports

Many science and medical news websites have reported the news, including PhysOrg; ScienceBlog; Science Codex; RedOrbit; Medical Daily with the headline Transcendental Meditation Boosts High School Graduation Rates, As Policymakers Look To AlternativesMedical News Today; PsychCentral, with their succinct headline, Transcendental Meditation Linked to Higher Graduation Rates; The British Psychological Society, Meditation improves behaviour in school; Counsel & Heal; and examiner.com, How transcendental meditation impacts public high school graduation rates.

The mainstream press then reported the news, led by UK’s Richard Gray, respected science correspondent for The Telegraph, and his wonderfully topical and comprehensive piece, Transcendental Meditation may boost student grades. Underneath the top headline was one of the iconic photos of the Beatles with Maharishi in India and this subheading: It may have seemed simply a phase in pop history, but it seems the Beatles may have been on to something after all during their fabled journey to India.

This prompted Anna Hodgekiss of The Daily Mail to follow up with: The best way to boost brain power and improve exam grades? Chant ‘Om’ like the Beatles did, using an earlier picture of the Beatles with Maharishi taken at the London Hilton when they first met. BTW, there is no chanting in TM, and “Om” is never used.

These articles must have influenced The Times journalist William Chester to write, Exams go better with a Sixties mantra in mind, which was posted on the NW London TM Blog: Exams go better with a Sixties mantra in mind – The Times June 12th 2013.

Other international press also reported on the study. ANI sent out their version of the release and it was picked up by The Times of India, Transcendental meditation boosts grades, Newstrack India, OnePakistan, newKerala.com, and Medindia. India.NYDailyNews.com reproduced the Telegraph article but used a different photo of the Beatles, Donovan, Mia and Prudence Farrow with Maharishi in Rishikesh.

In Chile, the science journalist from El Mecurio, Sebastián Urbina, emailed questions about the study, which were answered by Sandy Nidich. I also suggested he interview Rafael de la Puenta, the TM national leader, and he did. The article appeared as the top story in their Life, Science and Technology section, A15, with a photo of a member of the Trinity College Women’s Squash Team meditating on the court. See a PDF of the article: www.meditacion.cl/prensa/MT_MERCURIO-Santiago-06-11-2013.pdf.

Other countries reporting on the study that we know of include France’s HuffPost C’est La Vie; Italy’s AGI; Spain’s Tendencias21 and La Razon; Holland’s Volkskrant; and Brazil’s Veja.

Some of the previous articles were reproduced on many blogs and websites. Will add any other newer articles as they are found. A few are slated to come out from reporters who asked for the paper, but this report should give you an idea of the kind of news coverage that came out on this promising study. For example, The TM Blog later reported New Study Finds Transcendental Meditation Boosts Student Grades, Graduation Rates.

See the Great article on TM helping students boost grades shows the Beatles were way ahead of their time. That article was later highlighted on the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education on their Spotlight page reporting the latest news: Transcendental Meditation May Boost Student Grades.

Dr Oz’s gift of TM to his employees resulted in personal and corporate benefits — see the video

May 23, 2013

Dr. Mehmet Oz and his employees discuss the personal and corporate benefits derived from regularly practicing Transcendental Meditation: reduced stress, increased job performance, enhanced creativity, better teamwork, and improved health. Bottom line—his staff are more relaxed, productive, and happier. This more enlightened approach of developing healthier personnel from the inside out on their own time at work also makes good business sense. See the video he made to inspire other companies to do the same for their employees.

Published May 21, 2013 by tmwomenprofessionals

See these related videos: Dr. Oz on Transcendental Meditation | Some Reports on Dr. Oz’s Interview with Oprah about TM and her Next Chapter | Dr. Mehmet Oz explains how we can overcome risk factors for heart disease with meditation | Dr Oz discusses ancient Ayurvedic approaches to weight loss with The Raj expert Candace Badgett and these articles: 14 Executives Who Swear By Meditation–10 do TM and Celebs who meditate featured in The Daily Beast.

Article reports meditation studies done on stressed students with beneficial outcomes

April 24, 2013

Here is an informative article. I applaud the authors’ efforts for putting together this collection of beneficial meditation studies related to stressed students dealing with the pressures of school and college, inspiring them to not only consider the idea of meditation, but also the practice of it. I didn’t change a word, except capitalize Transcendental Meditation to honor its unique trademarked practice. Comments and additional information are added at the end of the article.

10 Telling Studies Done on Student Meditation

Posted on Monday March 26, 2012 by Staff Writers of Best Colleges Online

As the semester draws to a close, many college students are starting to feel the pressure of completing projects, writing final papers, giving presentations, and of course, studying for finals. Add to that holding down a job and you’ve got a perfect storm of stress. How to calm your mind? Meditation may be the answer.

Scientific studies are increasingly revealing some pretty amazing benefits of regular meditation practice, both for the general public and students in particular. Meditation can help you better deal with stress and may make your life as a student healthier and happier overall, a great tradeoff for just a few minutes of mindful thinking a day. Read on to learn about some of the latest and most telling studies on student meditation to learn the amazing benefits it can offer you this finals season and beyond.

Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

A 2009 study of 189 students in California who were performing below proficiency levels in English and math found that meditation actually helped to improve their test scores on the California Standards Tests. Students were asked to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day over a three-month period. At the end of that period, 41% of students participating in the study showed improvement in both math and English scores, sometimes moving up an entire performance level, compared with just 15% who didn’t participate in the program showing improvement.

Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

Those who have ADHD may find meditation an effective method for improving concentration and brain function, at least according to one study published in The Journal of Psychology. A paper called “ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice” appeared in the journal just last year, showcasing the results of a study that followed a group of middle school students with ADHD as they participated in a program that asked them to meditate twice a day for three months. At the end of the three-month period, students reported 50% reductions in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms. Researchers also found improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, and improved language-based skills among ADHD students who practiced Transcendental Meditation.

Meditation can reduce academic stress

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of meditative practices on reducing academic stress, all with a similar finding: it works. In 2007 researchers at SIU in Carbondale, Ill. released a multi-year study on 64 post-baccalaureate medical students who participated in a deep breathing meditation program. Students in the study were found to have reduced perceptions of test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss. Another study of students at American University had similar results, finding that students who participated in three months of Transcendental Meditation practice reported lower levels of stress (as well as increased concentration, more alertness, and greater resistance to the physical effects of stress, as well as brain function changes) during finals, often the most stressful part of the academic year.

Meditating may improve the integrity and efficiency of certain connections in the brain

It should come as no surprise that meditation practice can cause physical changes in the structure of the brain; monks have been saying this for years. Yet a surprisingly small amount of meditation can have an impact, even with as little as 11 hours of meditating. A 2010 study looked at 45 University of Oregon students, having 22 of them participate in an integrative body-mind meditation training program while the control group simply completed a relaxation program. The IBMT students were found to have changes in the fibers in the brain area related to regulating emotions and behavior, changes which became clear via brain imaging equipment with just 11 hours of practice. The same changes were not seen in the control group. Researchers believe that meditation may help students to better control their actions, resolve conflict, and manage stress by actually physically changing the brain connections that regulate these functions.

Meditation reduces drug and alcohol abuse

It’s no secret that many college students go overboard with drugs and alcohol, many binging on potentially dangerous substances multiple nights a week. Yet meditation practice may help limit the desire to engage in these activities, a study in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly reveals. Looking at both students and adults, the study found that daily Transcendental Meditation practice greatly reduced both substance abuse problems and antisocial behaviors. The results held true for all classes of drugs including illegal substances, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription medications, with meditation being in many cases two or three times more effective than traditional drug prevention and education programs.

Meditation reduces behavior incidents and absenteeism in high school students

In 2003, researchers Vernon Barnes, Lynnette Bauza, and Frank Treiber set out to study the effects of meditation on adolescents, specifically looking at the way it could potentially reduce stress and affect school infractions. Their results were pretty striking. Forty-five high school-aged African-American students were studied, some in a control group and others practicing Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis for four months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the meditation group had lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of behavior incidents at school, and lower levels of suspension. On the flip side, these behaviors actually increased in the group that didn’t meditate, suggesting that the meditation helped reduce the psychological stress, emotional instability, or hostility that was leading to negative and often self-destructive behaviors in these teens.

Meditation may make students happier and boost self-esteem

Meditation might not just help your studies, it might also help you be happier and more satisfied as well. Researchers at the University of Michigan found 60 sixth-graders to participate in a study, asking a group of them to take part in daily practice of Transcendental Meditation over a four-month period. At the end of the study, researchers reported that students had undergone some positive changes in emotional development, with students getting higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence than when they started the program and when compared to their peers who did not meditate.

Meditation has heart health benefits

Meditation is as good for your body as it is for your mind, a study at American University reports. A study published by the university in conjunction with the Maharishi University of Management found that regular Transcendental Meditation helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among college students. The study chose 298 students at random to either be part of the meditation group or a control group, with a subset of students at risk for hypertension also analyzed. After three months, students were measured on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability. Students who were formerly at-risk of hypertension showed a major change in blood pressure, associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension in later years.

Meditation reduces depression and anxiety

Feeling a little overwhelmed with college life? You’re not alone. Studies are demonstrating that meditation may offer one solution to better coping with the stress, anxiety, and even depression that many college students experience. Research at Charles Drew University in LA and the University of Hawaii in Kohala found that adults who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms (an average of 48% lower than the control group), even those who had indications of clinically significant depression. Similar results have been found in students, with decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms at significant levels after participating in a meditation program.

Meditation may increase intelligence

A study done by the Maharishi University of Management suggests that meditation is a great way to work out your brain and that it might even have positive effects on intelligence when practiced regularly. Looking at three different studies, the university found that high school students who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program had significant increases in creativity and intelligence levels, compared to those who took part in a napping or contemplative meditation program. Students in the Transcendental Meditation group saw increases in brain function across the board, but most dramatically in measurements of creative thinking, practical intelligence, and IQ.

Comments and further information

There were 8 comments posted at the end of this article making the same point. The reason being, I think, is that the authors gave simple instructions taken from various websites on how to meditate, then listed 10 studies on meditation, 9 of which are all done on one specific meditation technique, Transcendental Meditation® (http://www.tm.org).

Assigning all improvements to a generic notion of meditation can be misleading and could generate false expectations in those willing to experiment on their own. That’s why the comments contributed to a better understanding of the subject. Still, the authors’ efforts were sincere, and those readers who are interested in learning meditation can always seek out more information and actual classes.

Since most of the studies listed were on the Transcendental Meditation technique, I would naturally recommend those interested to find a certified TM teacher in their area. Call 888-LEARN-TM (888-532-7686) or go to http://www.tm.org/contact-us.

A recent paper published in Consciousness and Cognition gives a scientific explanation of different categories of meditation from major traditions, their practices, brainwave signatures and outcomes. See Are all meditation techniques the same?

Maharishi University featured in ALT magazine

April 24, 2013

Journalism students from Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa came to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa to find out what we were all about. The result of that visit is this article, MAHARISHI, which can be found in Volume 7 of ALT Magazine. You can see it online, pages 25-26/33, http://altmagonline.com/Maharishi, and can download a PDF to see the layout as it appears in print on pages 46-49, http://altmagonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ALTVol7.pdf.

IMG_1157

Google describes Transcendental Meditation as “A technique for detaching oneself from anxiety and promoting harmony and self-realization by meditation and repetition of a mantra.”

In a Southeastern Iowa town, TM, or Transcendental Meditation®, is the method the Maharishi community eats, sleeps and breathes.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed the TM technique that the students of the Maharishi University of Management, a liberal arts school (M.U.M.), use everyday to decompress and get away from the stresses of college and everyday life.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES

Hannelore Clemenson, a 32-year-old student from Des Moines and single mother, has been a student for two years at MUM and practices TM daily.

Clemenson found Fairfield and TM by word of mouth. Her dance teacher suggested going to MUM and when she thought her son was missing out on “small town life” she made the trip to Fairfield and hasn’t left.

Clemenson said, “I came across this school ten years ago and it was always a possibility and something definitely different from all the other schools I had been to before. If I was going to go back to school with my son it was going to have to be a special place.”

The soft-spoken Clemenson said MUM provides students with a Consciousness-Based℠ education that helps get rid of fatigue and stress and keeps students awake in class. M.U.M. uses block scheduling, which means they have only one class a month and attend six days a week.

IMG_1110-300x200Clemenson said the classes are very hands on, which allows her to pursue music depending on which class she has that particular month. With the block scheduling, students take one class for an entire month, allowing them to do more in-depth projects.

Class is only part of the MUM college experience. Clemenson, along with the rest of the M.U.M. students, are required to take a six-week course that introduces the students to Maharishi’s knowledge. In the second week, students are taught how to meditate and learn the proper technique of meditation. Students are required to meditate for 20 minutes before coming to their morning class, and after their morning class is completed they do a ten-minute meditation, which Clemenson said is very helpful.

“That’s really benefited me, even though it’s not a full meditation. I have a lot of stomach problems, so when I started meditating before I went to eat it helped soothe me,” Clemenson said.

When the afternoon classes end around 2:45 p.m., students take a break and attend their second full meditation together.

Clemenson said, “It’s a really nice way to unwind and shake your eyes from the computer screen. It’s just 20 minutes, twice a day, it’s the most incredible thing. I’ve noticed it’s changed me little by little. All these things have improved; the way I operate, the way I think and react to things, it’s just happened and I’m grateful everyday that I do this.”

Clemenson said, “Learning TM was the best thing that’s happened to me; it’s sweet to have that be a part of everybody’s life.”

AHEAD OF ITS TIME

IMG_1143Have you ever been in a building that creates more energy then it uses? Or in a building that is held up by tree logs and made entirely of Earth blocks? It’s unlikely because many of us haven’t been to Fairfield, Iowa to visit Lawrence Gamble and his Sustainable Living Center.

The Sustainable Living Center on the Maharishi campus is a classroom, a workshop and an office building, all while not leaving behind a carbon footprint.

On a sunny day, the center will generate ten or twenty times more power than what is actually used and on an annual basis, the building produces 30% more than what they use, for not only electricity, but for heating and cooling as well. The building has produced 3,000 more kilowatts than what it’s used.

The building is one of a kind, made entirely of earth blocks that were formed by former M.U.M. students and large tree logs that support the building. Everything in the building is all-natural.

The paint that goes on these earth blocks is made of sand, chopped straw and cow manure which helps everything stick together. The building is heated by a flow of water running throughout the entire center and is lit only by strategically placed windows. In classrooms, the desks that students sit in are hand-made from wood.

MISTER GREEN

Gamble, the Curriculum Director for the Department of Sustainable Living, said, “A large percentage of energy in a building like this is for lighting, and there are environmental consequences for building solar panels and wind generators, so we want to use that energy really wisely.”

Gamble continued by saying the classrooms stay lit by, “Putting the windows in the right places.” The building has taller windows that allow more light to enter and the main corridor is designed to let light in.

Gamble said, “In our program, what we are designed to do is give students the skills to be successful in a world that doesn’t exist yet. We are giving them a way of looking at the world with a new set of eyes, and we are trying to give them a broad perspective.”

Sustainable Living Programs are comparable to environmental science classes, and the area that M.U.M. and Gamble decided to focus on was environmental problem solving.

“We rolled our sleeves up and got right to work asking ourselves what are the practical things we can start doing now,” Gamble said. “The development of consciousness, which is kind of the central unique feature of M.U.M., is essential to this whole process.”

Another feature to the Sustainable Living Center is the Greenhouse or student lounge. The windows in the Greenhouse face south and this is one of the main ways the building is heated. Solar panels sit on top of the Greenhouse and provide shade in the summertime. With the sun’s position in the summer, the panels shade the windows so that the building does not get unnecessary heat, keeping the building cool.

Gamble said, “We like to do a lot of project based learning. I’ve taken kids to an island off the coast of Alaska.”

He said that him as well as a group of students over a period of years, helped setup solar powered energy in an Alaskan Village.

The students that worked on that project learned how to install solar panels and when they returned they started their own company. Last year, they sold a million dollars worth of solar panels.

Gamble, as well as every other professor at M.U.M. believes TM is essential for a student to fully maximize their potential in the classroom.

Gamble said, “Transcendental Meditation has such a simple way of allowing your mind to settle down, get deep rest and have that experience of being inside you that everything in nature is connected. Then when you come out of that meditation and you study sustainable living, you are intellectually exploring how everything is connected.”

MEDITATION BENEFITS

Transcendental Meditation, TM, benefits more than studying habits. According to tm.org, the techniques help develop the brain and increase creativity and intelligence while improving decision making and problem solving skills.

THE BRAIN OF TM

Dr. Fred Travis, Director for the Center of Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at M.U.M. studies the brain to understand consciousness.

Travis said, “The brain is the interface between us and the world. The brain is a way that allows us to actually see the world and interact with the world.”

Travis, who taught at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, said M.U.M. is different from other places he’s taught at.

“It’s quite unlike any other place,” Travis said. “The students don’t have their heads on the table, they keep you on your toes with very challenging questions.”

Travis said that when the brain is stressed and tired, it doesn’t allow you to take in as much information as it would if you were rested and aware. By adding TM it opens the student’s mind and brain to an entirely new way of thinking.

Travis observed that stress takes frontal executive circuits off line and so keeps students from being able to see larger implications of what they are learning.  He noticed that the students he taught at Iowa Wesleyan were are able to follow the lecture, but he couldn’t tell them everything that he knew.

“What you would be giving them is very much superficial, facts and how the facts relate,” Travis said. “The more fundamental ideas of underlying principles and how this relates to the meaning of life and how it relates to the environment, you can’t go into that because they don’t have the framework to take it in.”

Travis believes that the scheduling at M.U.M. plays a major role in how the students succeed in the classroom.

“At M.U.M., students take one class at a time. Instead of juggling two or three courses at once, you can focus on one subject,” Travis said. “The part of your brain used when you focus is the memory center. The part of the brain during multitasking is that part of your brain that has to do with sequencing.”

Travis said, “TM practice adds another engine to learning. Learning requires localized areas of the brain to function. In contrast, TM practice is a process of transcending and the brain is restful and alert as suggested by global alpha brain coherence.”

With regular TM practice, these brain changes are seen during a person’s daily activity after meditation practice. This gives a new platform to see the world. You are more awake, and more alert.

Writers Joey Aguirre & Stephanie Ivankovich Designer Allie McFayden Photographer Stephanie Ivankovich

I asked Fred Travis to revise his quotes to appear closer to what he said. – Ken Chawkin

1. Dining Hall 2. Argiro Lobby Flags 3. SLC Tree Posts 4. SLC Earth Blocks 5. Veda Bhavan:CBCC

See this article from Drake University journalism honor students: Students find their centers at Maharishi.

Maharishi University conference focuses on health: Pam Peeke speaks on food addictions

April 19, 2013

Maharishi University conference focuses on health (audio)

April 19, 2013 By
Pam Peeke

Dr. Pamela Peeke

A conference in southeast Iowa on Saturday promises to address recent discoveries and solutions “to help enhance individual life and change the world.

Physician, scientist and best-selling author, Dr. Pamela Peeke  will address America’s addiction to food, which she says is a rampant national epidemic.

Dr. Peeke, the chief medical correspondent for nutrition and fitness for Discovery Health TV, says a new study from the National Institutes of Health proclaims food addiction a reality.

“This is groundbreaking,” Peeke says. “This is a milestone. This affects everything from public health to what goes on in your pantry. This changes up the whole discussion about what we eat and what it does to us. It even changes our genes. It causes organic changes in our brain.”

In some ways, food addiction may be harder to beat than drugs, she says, since drug addicts don’t emerge from rehab to see billboards urging them to take more drugs. We’re surrounded by temptations to eat in all forms of media, she says, which makes it difficult to kick a food addiction.

“The mass majority of people who are overweight or obese are food addicted to one degree or the other,” Peeke says. “The people who are in the worst shape are the ones who have cross-addictions, more than one addiction. They’re a smoker, they may have some alcohol issues, drugs, whatever else. It’s almost un-American not to be food addicted.”

Dr. Peeke says being food-addicted is as severe as any other addiction. “Once you find out you’re either teetering on the brink of or you really have an all-out situation with a food addiction, then you need to do what you do for any addiction, detox and recovery.”

Her talk is called, “Your Brain’s Reward Center: Hacked by a Cupcake,” and she’ll talk about the neurological basis of food addictions. Peeke is among eight speakers headlining the day-long conference called “Our Conscious Future” at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield.

Download and listen to Matt Kelley’s interview with Pamela Peeke  4:55.

Please check the website and register online for Free Online Streaming Option. Now available: Our Conscious Future Schedule of Presentations.

Related news: Our Conscious Future: Leading Visionaries Offer TED-Style Talks at Maharishi University April 20 and Dr. Pamela Peeke to speak at Maharishi University visionary conference event

Related articles by Linda Egenes for Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine:

How the TM Technique Can Help Stop Food Addiction: An Interview with Dr. Pam Peeke

Saving the Disposable Ones: TM Practice Offers a New Life to the Street Children of Colombia

New study shows Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTS in African refugees

April 11, 2013

African war refugees practicing Transcendental Meditation®, a simple and effective stress-reducing meditation technique, experienced immediate and dramatic reductions in severe posttraumatic stress symptoms to a non-symptomatic level in just 30 days, according to a new study published this week in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 26, Issue 2, pp. 295-298.)

A significant percentage of veterans are returning home from wars exhibiting symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS). It is now recognized as a serious health problem that can trigger suicidal tendencies. But what about the victims of such violence? Homeless refugees live with the constant reminder of what war has done to their lives and those of their families.

While studies have shown the Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique to effectively lower posttraumatic stress in veterans of Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars, this is the first (randomized/matched) study to look at PTS in African war refugees. It measured the severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms before and after learning the TM technique, and the reductions were immediate and dramatic.

PTS Scores Graph

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores in the TM group went from high PTS symptoms at baseline to a non-symptomatic level after 30-days TM practice, and remained low at 135-days, while scores in the control group trended upward from baseline to the two posttests.

For more study details and comments by the surprised researchers, click the EurekAlert! press release, graph and video with descriptions, and a PDF of the published JTS TM-PTS Study.

The study was funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

In the past 20 years, 18 African nations have been ravaged by war. Tens of millions of Africans have been victims of violence or witnessed horrific acts of terror—and now suffer from post-traumatic stress. The DLF Africa PTSD Relief Project was set up to raise funds to teach the TM program to many more African refugees. Here is a short documentary with actor, director Bill Duke, Ambassador for African PTSD Relief. Please visit http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/africa to learn more.

The news was reported on MedicalXpress.com: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees, and linked to it from many other websites. Also by News-Medical.net: Study: Transcendental meditation reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees. And Medical News Today: Posttraumatic Stress Significantly Reduced By Transcendental Meditation. Psychiatric Annals/Helio: Meditation reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms in African refugees.

Here is an excellent comprehensive report with quotes from Russell Simmons, and David Lynch about the study posted on People of Shambala: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces post-traumatic stress for Congolese refugees: study. Google posted this excellent article by AFP: Filmmaker David Lynch touts meditation for PTSD.

More on Global Good News: Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees, and  Johannesburg Transcendental Meditation Center: Post Traumatic Stress help for African Refugees.

See the Second study to show Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in African Refugees—in just 10 days.

‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly … Or SAD? Article for Ageless Living by Helen Foster-Grimmett

December 14, 2012

‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly … Or SAD?
By Helen Foster-Grimmett

Tonight, my husband told me that this article lacked pizzazz. I said: “Sorry, my serotonin is seasonally challenged – no sparkle.” I find myself standing in front of travel agency windows mesmerized by posters of sun-drenched Hawaii, Mexico, Barbados. Mauritius looks delicious.

By Christmas – the season to be jolly – some people have been feeling sad, down, or downright depressed since the onset of autumn. And they’ll motor on through to the first buds of spring feeling the same way. If you are one of those people, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, about five million Canadians experience the “winter blues,” a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. At least two to three percent have symptoms severe enough to be diagnosed as “SAD” – an apt acronym. People with SAD often feel a sense of happiness on a cloudy day when the sun peeks through the clouds, then deflated when the clouds cover the sky again. It’s as if the clouds are a manifestation of their minds. For people with SAD, those inner clouds can be dark, and they sometimes don’t lift until the spring flowers bloom and sunshine is more constant. The Canadian Mental Health Association tells us that women are more at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder than men: eight times as many women as men report having SAD. Although the reasons for this are not defined, one suggestion is that women may spend more time indoors with their children than men and, therefore, less time in sunlight.

Sunless and SAD
Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they generally link it to lack of sunlight. SAD is rare in those living within 30 degrees of the equator, where daylight hours are consistently long and bright. It is more common in northern countries, including Canada, where bright winter sunlight is sparse. Lack of light may upset our cycles and other rhythms. It may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin, which affects mood. People with mild winter blues manage to cope throughout the season. However, those diagnosed with SAD could feel more severe symptoms, including:
• Depression, apathy, negative thoughts, loss of self-esteem
• Sleep problems
• Lethargy, fatigue
• Overeating or little appetite
• Difficulty with concentration and memory
• Withdrawn – finding it hard to be around people
• Anxiety
• Inability to deal with stress
If you are affected by any of these symptoms, take heart: there are remedies that work wonders for SAD.

Relief for SAD Symptoms
Millions of people with SAD have been helped by the work of Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a world-renowned psychiatrist. Rosenthal and his team at the National Institute of Mental Health pioneered research that first led to describing Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the use of light therapy to treat it.

According to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association in the UK, “light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 percent of diagnosed cases.” Light therapy is now routinely prescribed for SAD in northern countries, but at the time Rosenthal and his team first used it, the results were dramatic. In his New York Times best-selling book Transcendence, Dr. Rosenthal recalls a comment from one of his colleagues. He had noticed a remarkable change in a patient who had been having light therapy for SAD for just one week: “I don’t know what treatment she is receiving, but she’s blooming like a rose!” A vivid metaphor for our need for light from the life-giving sun.

Dr. Rosenthal’s other guide for readers who suffer from SAD is called Winter Blues. This book provides a self-test that readers can use to evaluate their own seasonal mood changes, presents remedies for SAD, research on the use of medication, and new recipes to counterbalance unhealthy winter food cravings. A cautionary caveat: if you or someone you know is seriously depressed, it is imperative to seek professional advice, as depression can be debilitating or even life-threatening.

The good news? The incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder decreases with age. So for all you seniors out there, as we approach the holiday season, ‘tis truly the season for you to be jolly!

Helen Foster-Grimmett writes on issues of health, education, and stress management. These days you may find her outside travel agency windows, looking wistful. Article references available upon request.

This is Helen’s 2nd article for the Canadian magazine, Ageless Living. You can read her first article there: The Answer To Cancer.

For more information on Dr. Norman Rosenthal, his work and books: Winter Blues, and Transcendence, visit: http://normanrosenthal.com.

Study suggests meditation may help prevent PTSD—Boston Globe article by Bryan Bender

December 3, 2012

Study suggests meditation may help prevent PTSD

By Bryan Bender | Globe Staff | December 02, 2012

Norwich Rooks Meditate after classes

Lance Ostby, Rob Wetmore, Matt Miller, Aaron McDuffie, and Jeremy Ward practiced meditation following afternoon classes. Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

NORTHFIELD, Vt. — It is part of a highly regimented daily routine at Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military academy and a cultivator of battlefield leaders for nearly two centuries.

Dressed in combat fatigues and boots, a platoon of first-year cadets — “Rooks” — are up early in their barracks. On the orders of their instructor, the young men and women take their places. At 0800 sharp, they sit on wooden chairs in a circle and begin — to meditate.

The first-of-its-kind training is part of a long-term study to determine whether regular brief periods of silent, peaceful consciousness can improve troops’ performance. Ultimately, researchers hope the transcendental meditation training might be made available across all branches of the military to help inoculate troops against acute post-traumatic stress disorder, which has reached epidemic proportions and is blamed for a record number of suicides in the ranks.

For an institution that demands that incoming cadets exhibit physical and mental toughness, meditation training is a radical approach. The broader military culture had long associated meditation with a leftist, antiwar philosophy. Known by its shorthand, TM was widely introduced to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Hindu leader who once served as the spiritual guru to the Beatles.

“I was very skeptical at first,” said Norwich president Richard W. Schneider, a retired Coast Guard admiral who is among several university officials who have also been trained in the technique. “I’m not a touchy-feely guy.”

But the preliminary results of the study, now in its second year, surprised even its lead researchers. They have been methodically tracking the dozens of participants and several control groups of non-meditating cadets through detailed questionnaires as well as brain wave and eye scans to measure levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

“All those things decreased significantly,” said Dr. Carole Bandy, a Norwich psychology professor overseeing the project. “In fact, they decreased very significantly.”

Positive traits such as critical thinking and mental resilience improved, according to preliminary findings shared with the Globe that Bandy and her team plan to publish next year.

The project has garnered high-level attention from the Army.

“Becoming more psychologically fit is just like becoming physically fit. It is better to do it before you are injured,” said retired Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, a surgeon who until recently ran the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program and visited Norwich three times to be briefed on the work. “There seems to be no question that meditation is, frankly, good for you. I am very encouraged by the Norwich University study.”

(more…)

Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry) — Daily Mail

November 13, 2012

Meditation could slash the risk of heart attack and stroke (and make you less angry)

  • Twice daily mantra meditation, where a sound is made repeatedly, may also reduce blood pressure

By Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED: 15:03 EST, 13 November 2012 | UPDATED: 15:03 EST, 13 November 2012

Twice daily mantra meditation, which involves making a sound repeatedly, lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes

Meditation helps reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers found that Transcendental Meditation, made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s, could cut heart attack rates by half.

This type of meditation, which involves making a sound repeatedly, lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes.

In the new study, researchers found that people with heart disease who practised transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice a day were 48 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with those who attended a health education class over more than five years.

Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger.

And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival, said researchers who conducted the study at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Lead researcher Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Iowa, said: ‘We hypothesised that reducing stress by managing the mind-body connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease.

‘It appears that transcendental meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy – to repair and maintain itself.’

For the study, researchers randomly assigned 201 people – with an average age of 59 – to participate in a transcendental meditation stress-reducing programme or a health education class about lifestyle modification for diet and exercise.

Transcendental Meditation was made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s

The average BMI of the people involved was 32 – classed as obese.

Both groups showed beneficial changes in exercise and alcohol consumption, and the meditation group showed a trend towards reduced smoking.

Although there were no significant differences between the groups in weight, exercise or diet, regular meditation was correlated with reduced death, heart attack and stroke.

Dr Schneider added: ‘Transcendental meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions.

‘The research on transcendental meditation and cardiovascular disease is established well enough that doctors may safely and routinely prescribe stress reduction for their patients with this easy to implement, standardised and practical programme.’

The findings were published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

More news coverage: Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk: WebMD Heart Disease Health Center and Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA and Science Codex: Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

The Daily Mail does not explain Transcendental Meditation properly. We do not repeatedly make a sound. It is a silent mental practice of experiencing the thought process at more refined levels until the mind transcends thought and arrives at an inner state of restful alertness. This natural level of deep rest releases stress and allows the body to repair itself resulting in improved health.


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