Posts Tagged ‘heart health’

Transcendental Meditation May Help Fight Heart Disease—article on Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s blog

December 6, 2012

Here’s an informative article Carla F. Williams wrote December 4, 2012 on Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s blog: Transcendental Meditation May Help Fight Heart Disease.

We’re all familiar with the uncomfortable feelings stress can create. What’s even more important than the feelings, however, is what that stress may be doing to our bodies. The medical community links “psychosocial stress” to both the onset and the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD), proof positive that stress affects our lives beyond our conscious feelings.  Plainly put, stress can indeed kill and reducing stress is key to protecting our health and wellbeing. The good news is that it appears that our brains may well have the power to positively impact our health by helping keep stress at bay.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been shown to reduce stress and help overcome the stress-driven contributors to CVD, including hypertension.  The beneficial outcomes springing from this mind-over-matter are so promising that The National Institute of Health has granted over $24 million in grants over the past 20+ years to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation and related programs tackling CVD.  A study recently released in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes tracked the impact of Transcendental Meditation versus health education on heart disease in a controlled sample of 201 African-American men and women who had already been diagnosed with CVD.  TM came in strong as a tool for helping improve the cardio health of the participants over a 5 + year period, significantly reducing risk for mortality, myocardial infarction (a.k.a. heart attack), and stroke along with lowering blood pressure.

The study authors describe TM as a “simple, natural, effortless procedure that is practiced 20 minutes twice a day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.” During this process, ordinary thinking processes settle down and physiological rest kicks in. Although the process may be simple, there was nothing simple about the training study participants received. It was quite intense with an instructor certified by the Maharashi Foundation guiding them through a 7-step course of instruction over six 1.5 -2 hour meetings with follow-up over the course of the study.  They invested hours in learning to calm their minds and their bodies, an investment that paid off.

The implications of this study and the string of similar studies go beyond African-Americans. The writing is on the wall for everyone.  Meditation and developing the ability to truly calm our minds might well improve the health of our bodies. Transcendental Meditation may not be on your radar but if you think about it, what’s not to love about a risk-free potential pathway to better health?  TM has a lot going for it.  Once you master the process it costs nothing, can be practiced almost anywhere and requires no special equipment.  It’s certainly worth looking into.  Your heart may just thank you.

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Read more about the heart disease study from the American Heart Association posted on this blog: Transcendental Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients—AHA. Additional news coverage is available at the bottom of the page. For more information on Transcendental Meditation visit www.tm.org.

The David Lynch Foundation provides free instruction in Transcendental Meditation to at-risk youth in under-served schools; veterans with PTS and their families; and women and girls who are victims of violence, abuse and rape. The Foundation will be hosting another Gala Event in Lincoln Center Thursday night, Dec 13 to raise funds for such projects.

See the musicians who will be playing jazz during this historic night at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center, New York. www.changebeginswithin.org. Interestingly, Lincoln Center is also where one of Marcus Samuelsson’s new restaurants, American Table Cafe and Bar, recently opened. Read more about Marcus Samuelsson on his Amazon author’s page.

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.

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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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