Posts Tagged ‘high blood pressure’

Can meditation save us? Fox News Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball

February 20, 2012

Can meditation save us?

FOX NEWS Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball
Published February 19, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Economic uncertainty, political divisiveness—it seems that our nation and many of us individually are now under more stress than we’re designed to handle.

It’s no surprise that increasing numbers of people are turning to meditation for refuge. And why shouldn’t we? It’s just the natural use of our own minds.

An effective meditation technique allows you to dive deep within and contact reserves of peace, energy and clarity to help you more gracefully accomplish what you wish to achieve in life. It dissolves deep-rooted, accumulated stresses that obstruct your health.

But it’s more than that: meditation can show you who you really are. Not just on the surface but deep within—where reside greater possibilities of creativity and intelligence, untapped potentialities of heart and mind.

Resurgence

“If Transcendental Meditation were a new drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be the biggest, multi-billion dollar blockbuster drug on the market.”—former senior NIH researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D.

In the 1970s, Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) became a widespread cultural phenomenon. Now there’s a rising new wave of interest in TM, but for different reasons: because there’s so much scientific research verifying its effects.

Doctors and therapists are recommending it in growing numbers.

Business owners offer it as a human resource for employees—such as Oprah Winfrey and her company, Harpo Productions.

Prison systems in the U.S. and abroad are implementing programs for inmates. Hundreds of schools around the world are offering TM-Quiet Time programs for students. But mostly, people are learning it because they notice positive change in someone they know who’s learned.

From a health point of view, meditation can save your life: the deep, restorative rest rejuvenates body and mind and facilitates healing.

Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health has shown that the TM technique reduces heart attack and stroke by nearly 50%. Clinical trails showed that it reduces cholesterol by 30 milliliters. “If you’re on medication for cholesterol,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz, “we hope you can get 30 milliliters lower. But this happened through Transcendental Meditation alone.”

Besides reducing the major risk factors for heart disease, meditation can also save lives by reducing depression and anxiety, as numerous studies on TM have shown.

“It Saved Me”

I’ve met many people who’ve told me that meditation saved their life. People struggling with high blood pressure who were eventually able to get off their meds after learning TM.

I encountered a Native American woman who said her insulin levels normalized for the first time in years, a few months after learning this meditation. A young woman on the verge of suicide learned the technique, pulled herself out of severe depression and found the wherewithal to return to college for a business degree.

There was the boy with ADHD, who after his first meditation never again needed to wear the Ritalin patch that was stunting his growth.

Hopelessness can be turned into hope when you get to that place within yourself that’s strong enough, resourceful enough to overcome challenges.

Even a person fighting for their life can find solace in meditation: it’s something one can do to help oneself instead of surrendering entirely to the care of others.

Calming the Waters

Here’s the beauty of Transcendental Meditation: it’s a stress-reducing practice that transcends personal opinion, likes and dislikes, beliefs and ideologies. It works on the basis of something deeper and more universal—the mind’s natural tendency.

Our minds naturally seek greater freedom and happiness, greater knowledge. The TM technique allows you to use that natural attraction to happiness in a special way by turning attention inward and finding greater happiness and peace inside you, satisfying the mind’s quest.

But it’s not a selfish thing. Even though you do it for yourself, it’s one of the best things you can do for the people around you.

The flight attendant tells us, in case of emergency, secure your own oxygen mask first. If you don’t, you’ll be useless to help anyone. Meditation allows us to save ourselves from the undertow of stress so we can be sufficiently calm and fully functional to help others.

Bridging the Differences

The TM technique is a secular, non-religious form of meditation involving no beliefs. Many religious people practice it and find that it deepens their spirituality. A physicist friend tells me it refines his appreciation of nature. All the things that define us in the outer world lose their ability to divide us as we familiarize ourselves with that deeper, universal field of order at the basis of the mind—a transcendental level of life that belongs to all of us.

Transcendental Meditation is not a sect. It’s not foreign to our culture because it’s based on natural principles of mind and body that we all share. It’s an effortless technique that anyone can learn, a tool you can use all your life and it gets better with age—it helps you get better with age and stay younger in body, mind and spirit (and yes, there’s research on that).

Tom McKinley Ball is a writer for the David Lynch Foundation. He attended a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in 1975-76, where he studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and has taught meditation for almost 40 years.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/19/can-meditation-save-us

David Lynch Foundation Honored

September 10, 2009

Picture 40

Naturalheroes

THE 
DAVID LYNCH 
FOUNDATION

Promotes a Peaceful World  For Our Children

By Tom Citrano

NATHEROSDavidLynch“In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, 
every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence – bliss – the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.” David Lynch, founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and 
World Peace.

This month’s Natural Heroes are Mr. Lynch and the people at the David Lynch Foundation. Director and Producer David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Elephant Man, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive) started his foundation to provide funds for students to learn meditation through Transcendental Meditation centers, hospital-sponsored wellness programs, boys and girls clubs, before-and-after school programs and in schools when invited by the administration.

Instruction is voluntary and provided to children after parental permission has been granted and at no cost to the family, organization or school. This year the David Lynch Foundation granted millions of dollars guaranteeing thousands of students, teachers and families a chance to learn meditation.  The Foundation also funds independent research to study the effects of meditation on creativity, intelligence, brain function, academic performance, ADHD and additional learning disorders, substance abuse and depression.

Lynch believes that stress is taking a big toll on children today. He looks for a day when developing student’s creative potential is part of every school’s curriculum. David Lynch has been a TM practitioner for over 30 years and explains, “There are hundreds of schools, thousands of students, who are eager to relieve stress and bring out the full potential of every student by providing this Consciousness-based education.”

The David Lynch Foundation targets the benefits of TM for students in the following areas:

CLASSROOM STRESS

Children need to feel safe in school because pressure, stress and fear undermine learning. Dr. William Stixrud, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, specializing in work with children and adolescents, has studied the effects of stress on the developing brain and had this to say about the David Lynch Foundations programs, “Educators have long known the optimal mind/body state of a student is one of relaxed alertness. The question has been how does the student get there? The answer is The Transcendental Meditation Program.”

CLINICAL DEPRESSION
Ten million children in America have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and take antidepressant medications. Most of these medications are categorized as having serious side effects. A study (funded in part by the Daimler/Chrysler Fund and the General Motors Foundation) on meditating children at an inner-city Detroit middle school confirms what previous gathered data and research has documented: The Transcendental Meditation program increases happiness, self-esteem, and self-worth, while also reducing anxiety and depression.

LEARNING 
DISORDERS
If left untreated, ADHD impacts the child in several ways – causing impulsivity, distractibility, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. ADHD is also associated with sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and other disorders. Almost 90% of children diagnosed with ADHD are on medications. Linda Handy, Ph.D., educator and principal of The Waldorf School in Silver Spring, Maryland believes it’s easier for teachers to hold the attention of students who meditate, “Transcendental Meditation has a great effect on students’ learning ability. Teachers can teach more – so students can learn more.”

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure is no longer an adult disease. Studies show adolescence is a critical time for the development of hypertension and other coronary disease risk factors. Increasing rates of childhood obesity are further driving up the numbers of children and teens living with hypertension. Vernon Barnes, Ph.D., research scientist at the Georgia Prevention Institute of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta studied the effects of TM on a random sample selected from a group of 5,000 teens with hypertension. Barnes had this to say about the results, “Decreases in blood pressure observed in the present study have clinical significance. The decreases, if maintained into adulthood, are enough to potentially decrease a child’s long-term risk for heart disease and stroke.”

FULL BRAIN POTENTIAL

Science has confirmed that our brains are not fully developed at birth. As we grow and mature, the brain is being recreated to support all of our new and changing thoughts, decision and behavior. There are different areas of the brain for seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc. The part of the brain that is most critical for evaluating all the information is the frontal lobes. Stressful experiences keep the frontal lobes from developing. Research verifies the TM technique is unique in its ability to exercise this critical part of the brain – to make the brain healthier and better able to work together as a whole.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

In his book, A Record of Excellence, Ashley Deans, Ph.D., director of The Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa recounts the achievements of his school, which is accredited by the State of Iowa and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, “Hundreds of scientific studies on Transcendental Meditation program and more than 30 years of classroom experience should be enough to convince anyone that Consciousness-Based education can make education complete, healthy, harmonious and productive.”

For more information about 
the David Lynch Foundation 
and its programs, visit davidlynchfoundation.org.

If you have a Natural Hero in 
your life, send an email to: heroes@nugreencity.com and tell us about that special someone who’s making our city and the planet a better place.

http://www.nugreencity.com/2009/09/naturalheroes-3/


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