Posts Tagged ‘lower blood pressure’

@MaharishiU’s Dr. Robert Schneider presents @TMmeditation research to @uiowa Hospitals and Clinics medical staff

January 9, 2014

Doctor touts health benefits of Transcendental Meditation
Written by Sara Agnew, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Jan. 7, 2014 8:55 PM

Dr. Francois Abboud, left, talks with Dr. Robert H. Schneider, who spoke with medical staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Tuesday about how the practice of Transcendental Meditation can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. / Sara Agnew / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Dr. Francois Abboud, left, talks with Dr. Robert H. Schneider, who spoke with medical staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Tuesday about how the practice of Transcendental Meditation can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. / Sara Agnew / Iowa City Press-Citizen

If you want to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower your blood pressure without taking medication, Dr. Robert H. Schneider has a suggestion: Transcendental Meditation.

Schneider says he has been involved in studies that show this type of meditation can reduce the rate of death from cardiovascular disease by 30 percent and from cancer by 40 percent.

The key is you need to know the “techniques” of Transcendental Meditation to experience the benefits — sitting with your eyes closed for 10 minutes won’t cut it.

That’s the message Schneider shared with about 40 hospital personnel Tuesday during an hourlong presentation called MIND-BODY-HEART: Evidence for Meditation in Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. It was his first visit with staff and doctors at UIHC.

“It was breakthrough,” he said of his visit.

Schneider is director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and dean of medical programs at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield. As a physician and scientist, Schneider has spent the past 30 years researching evidence-based natural approaches for treating heart disease, high blood pressure, stress and other cardiovascular factors. Over the past 20 years, he has received more than $20 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health for his natural approaches to treating heart disease.

Much of his work centers on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation.

Schneider said TM is an effortless technique for “automatic self-transcending.” It allows your mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought — pure awareness. This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness and what many who practice TM call your innermost self.

“It takes a technique that you learn in an eight-hour course,” Schneider said. “Once you have the technique, it happens quite easily.”

Schneider said humans have an “inborn ability” to practice this type of meditation.

“But we have lost this simple and natural technique,” he said.

Schneider said much of his research about the correlation between mind and body were affirmed last June when the American Heart Association announced that Transcendental Meditation is the only meditation practice that has shown to lower blood pressure. In addition, AHA reported lower blood pressure through TM is associated with substantially reduced rates of death, heart attack and stroke.

Ultimately, Schneider said the AHA recommended that TM be recommended for consideration as an alternative treatment for individuals with blood pressure greater than 120/80 mm Hg.

Schneider said he learned about TM 40 years ago as a college student.

“I was always interested in how we can tap into the body’s own cell repair and healing abilities,” he said. “I thought I’d try it and see if it works.”

He read the research and gave TM a try.

“I found I could study better and learn better and had more energy,” Schneider said.

Later, when he was a fellow in hypertension at the University of Michigan Medical School, Schneider took an interest in the connection between the brain and heart.

“I thought maybe we could use the brain to lower blood pressure,” he said.

Schneider believes his years of research on managing the mind-body connection is paying off as organizations such as the AHA begin recognizing the benefits of TM.

During his presentation at UIHC, Schneider highlighted a 2012 study that showed blacks with heart disease who practiced TM regularly were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with blacks who attended a health education class over more than five years.

Those practicing TM also “lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger,” Schneider said.

Schneider is interested in researching how TM can be used to help military veterans recover from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Francois Abboud, the namesake of UI’s Cardiovascular Research Center, asked, “How will I know if I am meditating correctly?”

Linda Rainforth, a certified TM teacher from Iowa City, said people who are practicing TM reach a “deep, deep level of silence and stillness” in which they experience an “expansion of the mind.”

One listener wondered whether men or women followed through most consistently in practicing TM during research studies.

“Men and women both get results,” Schneider said. “But in some of our studies, there was slightly more compliance with the women.”

If you go

Learn more about Transcendental Meditation by attending one of the following presentations by certified teachers in TM. All presentations will be at the Iowa City Public Library, meeting room E.
• 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
• 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
• 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16.
TM sessions also can be by appointment by calling Iowa City Transcendental Meditation Program at 936-1986, 641-472-0827 or 641-919-7282. For more information, go to

MUM's Dr. Robert Schneider presenting research at UIMC

Dr. Robert Schneider was also interviewed by Steve Smith on KMCD’s MUM Spotlight Show about the American Heart Association’s recommendation of Transcendental Meditation to lower high blood pressure. He also reported on his visit to UI’s Medical Center. Steve asked some great questions. It was a lively discussion. Listen here: (20:45)

See Dr. Schneider on New Zealand Television’s Breakfast ONE News describing the value of TM for heart health.

Common Relaxation Technique Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure and Protect Your Heart

January 11, 2010 bills its free, twice-weekly newsletter as “The World’s Most Popular Natural Health Newsletter.”  Each e-mail has 4-5 timely health tips, most of which seem to be based on recently published research.


Common Relaxation Technique Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure and Protect Your Heart

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
January 09 2010 | 4,653 views

A just-published study suggests the practice of meditation may bring cardiovascular and mental-health benefits.

The research, followed close to 300 students, half of whom practiced transcendental meditation for 20 minutes once or twice daily over three months. A subgroup of subjects in the meditation group who were at increased risk for hypertension significantly lowered their blood pressure and psychological distress, and also bolstered their coping ability.

The average reduction in blood pressure in this group — a 6.3-mm Hg decrease in the top (systolic) number of a blood pressure reading and a 4-mm Hg decrease in the lower (diastolic) number — was associated with a 52 percent reduction in the risk of developing hypertension in the future.

Meditators who were not at increased risk for hypertension saw a reduction in psychological distress, depression, and anxiety as well as increased coping ability.


U.S. News & World Report

American Journal of Hypertension, December 2009

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

As the new year begins and you resolve to make healthier lifestyle choices, I strongly encourage you to add a few minutes of meditation to your daily routine.

Just 20 minutes a day can begin to make a big difference in how you feel mentally, physically and emotionally.

When your mind is calm and your emotions are within your control, you’re in a much better position to tackle all your normal responsibilities plus the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Feelings of stress and overwhelm that keep you stuck in unhealthy behaviors can be greatly relieved by a regular practice of meditation. As the clouds in your head clear and anxiety is minimized, you’ll be amazed at how energized and capable you feel.

Community Comments

Posted On Dec 19, 2009

I suppose for the same reason that history repeats itself we find that a study now shows that meditation can elicit positive changes in our physiology and mental state.  This is NOT new news.  I learned TM back in the early 90’s and was made aware of studies at that time showing that TM could have a positive effect on hypertension among other things.  We seem to forget what we already know, over and over again.

Posted On Jan 09, 2010

Dr. Mercola, I’m curious why when reporting a study citing transcendental meditation as the specific modality used you would then turn around and attribute the results to other meditation techniques that weren’t studied. There was no basis from the study reported to leap to that conclusion. It strikes me as being somewhat akin to quoting research that perhaps found that Lexus has a high safety rating in front-end impacts, and then turning around and recommending that your readers buy Yugos, Fords, and any other car of their choice if they want to stay safe in a front-end collision because the study showed that if you were in a car during a front-end collision, you would be safe. Whatever the merits of the other car manufacturers, even if they are equally safe or safer, the quoted study would only have talked about Lexus, and the results couldn’t be extrapolated to other cars.

In the case of this meditation study, the results were specifically attributed to transcendental meditation and not to all meditation techniques, so the results cannot be legitimately extrapolated to other meditation techniques.  Faulty analysis, I’m afraid, but you may not have been aware that there are differences between techniques of meditation, and differences in the physiological response to those techniques.  In fact there are myriad studies that show other forms of meditation have not demonstrated the same benefits as TM. – (Oh, and as at least 3 of the researchers are known to me as being instructors of the transcendental meditation program as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, there is no doubt they were referring to the particular form of meditation and not using “transcendental meditation” as a generic term.)

Hope this was helpful.

Posted On Jan 09, 2010

With reference to citing TM studies and comparing them to other forms of meditation, there have been several published meta-analyses comparing the Transcendental Meditation technique to many other relaxation and meditation methods. It was statistically found that the effect size on certain variables like anxiety, and other risk factors, was twice as large with TM than with the other practices, which were no more effective than placebo. A paper, including a visual summary of the meta-analyses, Five Meta-Analyses Comparing the Transcendental Meditation Program with Other Meditation and Relaxation Techniques, can be found at

Neural imaging and EEG studies indicate that TM practice creates a unique brain pattern: it is the only meditation technique known to create widespread brainwave coherence. The TM technique also produces deeper rest than other practices, and studies show the technique to be more effective at reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-actualization. A website, Ask The Doctors, discusses results from other forms of meditation and TM at

Also, take a look at some of the peer-reviewed published studies on the Transcendental Meditation technique at this site:

Over 40 years, and 700 scientific research studies later, the TM technique continues to demonstrate the health benefits to mind, body, and behavior, for the individual and society as a whole. Further studies continue to add to this impressive body of research on the most widely studied and practiced technique for health and human development.

Thank you for this opportunity to share this information with you and your readers.

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