Posts Tagged ‘medical research’

#TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD

November 19, 2018

Associated Press reported on a DoD-funded TM study published November 15, 2018 in The Lancet Psychiatry. The AP report, Meditation helps vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, broke the news. It was picked up in hundreds of news outlets across the country and around the world. It’s the kind of promising good news the press like to report. The Washington Post published this story about the ground-breaking study. So did The New York Times. The Sun published a picture of Maharishi with The Beatles: Meditation techniques used by Beatles in 1960s could benefit veterans with PTSD. The Military Times, Army Times, Marine Times all published the AP story.

Other news services also published encouraging reports. AFP: Meditation helps conflict veterans with PTSD: study, which includes a personal testimonial from one of the subjects. The Hans India and Deccan Chronicle ran the AFP report. The London Economic, TLE: Transcendental meditation ‘could combat post traumatic stress disorder in war veterans’. Helio: Transcendental Meditation as effective as prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD. MedicalResearch.com interviewed Dr. Nidich: Transcendental Meditation May Help Veterans with Resistant PTSD. Will continue to update with other major news reports.

The Lancet Psychiatry included an accompanying editorial by Vernon A Barnes: Transcendental Meditation and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Medscape Medical News reported on the study and quoted from the Barnes editorial: Meditation May Best Gold Standard Therapy for PTSD.

This Graph by Alliance for PTSD Recovery shows the results of the study.Image-Graphs of The Lancet Psychiatry TM-PTSD Study

They also interviewed study co-author Dr. Maxwell Rainforth on how it was put together and the outcomes.

Check out this infographic comparing different meditation techniques.

David Orme-Johnson summarized the study on his Facebook page.

Dear Friends,

Today the best study to date on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) on PTSD was published in The Lancet Psychiatry, a leading journal in the field. The study compared TM with prolonged exposure therapy (PE), which is the current treatment of choice for treating PTSD. PE involves having the veterans re-experiencing their trauma through remembering and engaging with situations that remind them of it, in the hope that repeated experiencing of the stimuli associated with the trauma will eventually diminish the patients stress responses to them. PE is very painful for the Vets to go through.

The study was a “non-inferiority clinical trial”, meaning that the objective was to see if TM was at least as good as PE. TM was at least as good. Both TM and PE were significantly better than a Health Education (HE) for PTSD patients, with TM more significantly so (TM, p=.0009; PE, p=.041). 61% of those receiving TM showed clinically significant improvements compared to 42% of those receiving PE and 32% of those receiving HE.

Below is a link to an abstract on the journal website.

All the best,
David Orme-Johnson

Nidich, S., Mills, P. J., Rainforth, M., Heppner, P., Schneider, R. H., Rosenthal, N. E., Salerno, J., Gaylord-King, C., Rutledge, T. (2018). Non-trauma-focused meditation versus exposure therapy in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, Online First

 

New study out on Transcendental Meditation shows reduced teacher stress and burnout

February 3, 2014

Transcendental Meditation Reduces Teacher Stress and Burnout, New Research Shows

Effect of Transcendental Meditation on Employee Stress, Depression, and Burnout: A Randomized Controlled Study

This graph shows the average level of change in total burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in burnout symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in burnout over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in total burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in burnout symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in burnout over the duration of the study.

A new study published in The Permanente Journal (Vol. 18, No.1) on health showed the introduction of the Transcendental Meditation® technique substantially decreased teacher stress and burnout.

Research indicates that stress and burnout are pervasive problems among employees, with teachers being especially vulnerable to feeling frequent stress from their jobs. Burnout, a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and job dissatisfaction, has been found to contribute to lower teacher classroom performance and higher absenteeism and job turnover rates.

This current study sought to determine whether practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program results in lower psychological distress and decreased burnout in teachers and support staff at the Bennington School in Vermont, a special in-residence school for students with behavioral problems.

This graph shows the average level of change in perceived stress, as measured by the Perceived Stress Scale, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in perceived stress in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in stress over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in perceived stress, as measured by the Perceived Stress Scale, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in perceived stress in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in stress over the duration of the study.

According to Dr. Charles Elder, MD, MPH, lead author of the study and a Senior Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, “The results of this randomized controlled trial are very striking and demonstrate the utility of introducing a stress reduction program for teachers and other public and private employees. The four-month study found significant and clinically important decreases in perceived stress, emotional exhaustion associated with teacher burnout, and depressive symptoms in those practicing the TM program compared to a wait-list control group.”

“Burnout and other psychological distress factors have been linked to negative health behaviors, obesity, and hypertension, all of which are major contributors to cardiovascular disease,” emphasized Dr. Sanford Nidich, EdD, study principal investigator and Professor of Education at Maharishi University of Management. “Prior medical research has found that practice of the TM program is effective in reducing both risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular events. Taken as a whole, this present study and prior research provide evidence for the value of the TM program for enhancing mental and physical health and well-being, explained Dr. Nidich.”

This graph shows the average level of change in decreased depression symptoms, as measured by the Mental Health Inventory-5, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in depression symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small decrease in depression over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in decreased depression symptoms, as measured by the Mental Health Inventory-5, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in depression symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small decrease in depression over the duration of the study.

The study included 40 teachers and support staff measured at baseline and then randomly assigned to either immediate start of the TM program or delayed start (wait-list control group). Compliance with practice of the TM technique throughout the four-month intervention period was high; 100% of the participants assigned to the TM group meditated at least once a day. Of those, 56% meditated regularly at home twice a day.

This is the first study to investigate the effects of Transcendental Meditation on teacher burnout. Recent published studies have shown a positive impact of this program on student graduation rates, academic achievement, and psychological distress. Transcendental Meditation has seen widespread implementation in secondary schools across the country within the context of school-wide Quiet Time programs.

The study was funded by the Nine East Network and David Lynch Foundation.

About the Transcendental Meditation technique

The TM technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Extensive peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM reduces psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, and promotes overall mental and physical health.

The TM technique is available in the USA through Maharishi Foundation USA, a federally recognized non-profit educational organization. Through partnerships with other non-profit organizations and foundations, full TM scholarships have been given to more than 250,000 at-risk children, school teachers, veterans suffering from PTSD, homeless people, and others. Visit http://www.tm.org for more information.

About Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management is an accredited university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business, where Transcendental Meditation is also practiced by both professors and students. Visit http://www.mum.edu for more information.

Source: EurekAlert!

Excellent article by Tom Jacobs on Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients

November 14, 2012

Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients

New research finds major health benefits of meditation for African Americans with heart disease.

November 13, 2012 • By for Pacific Standard

Meditation is usually thought of as a practice of healthy, well-off white people and Asians. But newly published research suggests it can produce hugely significant health benefits in a very different demographic group: African Americans with heart disease.

A study of that followed 201 African Americans for an average of five years found those who meditated regularly were far more likely to avoid three extremely unwelcome outcomes. Compared to peers participating in a health-education program, meditators were, in that period, 48 percent less likely to die, have a heart attack, or suffer a stroke.

“It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy—to repair and maintain itself,” said Dr. Robert Schneider, the paper’s lead author and director of the Institute for National Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. His research is published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The paper was originally scheduled to be published in 2011 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, but was withdrawn just before being posted “to allow time for review and statistical analysis of additional data.” The AHA’s Maggie Francis reports that the paper “went through peer review, statistical review, editorial discussions, and the authors of the article were responsive to the review process.”

While, two decades ago, research from Maharishi University was often regarded with skepticism, the institution is now well-regarded for its scholarly work.

Schneider and his co-authors undertook this research in part because African Americans “suffer from disproportionately high rates” of mortality due to cardiovascular disease. As we have reported, this may in part reflect high stress levels, the result of living in a society where racial prejudice continues to linger.

The study was conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin in two phases: From 1998 to 2003, and from 2004 to 2007. Participants were African Americans whose blood flow to the heart was seriously obstructed. Specifically, at least one of their coronary arteries had been narrowed by at least 50 percent.

The patients’ mean age was 59; almost half reported an income of under $10,000. Males slightly outnumbered females. Around 40 percent were cigarette smokers; their mean body mass index was just over 32, making them, on average, clinically obese.

They were randomly divided into two groups. Half took part in a cardiovascular health education program, in which they “were advised to spent at least 20 minutes a day at home practicing heart-healthy behaviors,” including exercise and eating healthy food.

The others were taught the technique of Transcendental Meditation, and encouraged to engage in this activity for 20 minutes each day. “Follow-up and maintenance meetings were held weekly for the first month, biweekly for the next two months, and monthly thereafter,” the researchers write.

The researchers followed up on the participants an average of 5.4 years after they initially joined the experiment. They found those in the meditation group were 48 percent less likely than their peers to have suffered one of three negative outcomes: a heart attack, a stroke, or death from any cause.

“There was a significant association between regularity of home (meditation) practice and survival,” the researchers report. “The subgroup of subjects who were regular in their TM practice had a 66 percent risk reduction, compared with the overall sample risk reduction of 48 percent.”

Regular meditators also reduced their blood pressure, on average, and reported feeling less anger than they did before beginning the experiment.

“This trial did not address the effects of other mind-body, meditation-type interventions on clinical events,” the researchers note. So it’s not clear if these apparent health benefits were the result of some specific aspect of Transcendental Meditation, or would apply to any regimen involving deep breathing and clearing one’s mind.

Nevertheless, as the researchers note, this appears to be the first randomized, controlled trial to find the risk of mortality, heart attack and stroke declined “with the individual practice of a relatively simple mind-body intervention.”

It’s some of the clearest evidence yet that reducing stress through regular meditation can have a positive effect on one’s physical health.

About Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Ventura County Star.
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The 8.15 train to Nirvana: How you can meditate your stresses away… even on the daily commute

May 23, 2012
The 8.15 train to Nirvana: How you can meditate your stresses away… even on the daily commute

By Marianne Power
12 May 12, 2012

Last summer I bumped into an old colleague. We hadn’t seen each other for years and it transpired that in the previous 18 months, her mother had died of cancer, her father had moved in with her and she had been made redundant.

Yet she seemed remarkably calm. How on earth was she coping? After joking about the healing power of gin, she admitted her secret: she had learned how to meditate.

We have all read about the healing powers of meditation. Medical research has found that it can reduce the risk of everything from heart disease to strokes, depression and insomnia – but this was the first time I had seen its benefits up close.

Down time: Marianne Power meditates as she waits for a Tube train in London

Soon I was meditating twice a day, too, even learning to fit it into train journeys to work or sneaking a few quiet minutes in a bathroom cubicle at the office.

Before I bumped into my colleague I was running on empty. By day I was stressed by silly things that made me snap at people.

By night I would try to unwind with too many hours of television and too many glasses of wine before lying awake in bed stewing over all my worries.

I was run-down, got every cold going and at my very lowest points was prescribed antidepressants. My friend recommended Transcendental Meditation, which is different from other forms of meditation.

Instead of focusing on your breathing, you are given a Sanskrit word, known as a mantra, that you repeat in your head. The idea is that the repetition of the sound calms your mind.

The practice was made famous by The Beatles, who became devotees after meeting its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in the Sixties. Since then everyone from Clint Eastwood to William Hague and Nick Clegg has become a fan.

Latest research from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry has shown that meditation brings about neurological changes. After  a few months of meditation, the parts of the brain with a tendency to worry are switched off.

Clinical trials have proved that as a standalone treatment it can  prevent relapse of depression and is effective alongside medication.

But I was most interested in its effects in counteracting stress. And I can say that learning to meditate has changed my life.

At my first lesson I was given my mantra, which you don’t share with anyone, and told to close my eyes and repeat it again and again in my head. Straight away I was hooked.

There’s something about the sound vibration of the mantra going over and over in your mind that lulls you into a kind of trance. The repetition of the sound is like a lullaby.

You go into your own world and yet you are still aware of your surroundings. You’re neither awake, nor asleep, nor dreaming – just beautifully relaxed. It’s like a warm bath for your brain.

After that first lesson, I felt calm and focused and that night I enjoyed a longer, deeper sleep than I’ve had since I was a child. And I’ve been sleeping well ever since.

The more I meditate, the less I seem to be bothered by things. Situations that would once have sent me into a tailspin no longer have the same effect.

My heart doesn’t race in the way it once did; I have become more calm and rational; my concentration at work has also improved.

I think this is primarily because I am better rested and less stressed, but scans have shown that meditation actually increases the size of your hippocampus – the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. I also feel healthier.

I have had only one cold in the past seven months. And then there are the less tangible changes, the ones to your personality and relationships.

Friends have commented on the fact that I seem more relaxed. I  certainly feel more content, less inclined to snap or overreact.

So is this a miracle? Am I now the perfect person? Hardly. Like most of the good things in life, it takes work. Like going to the gym or eating well, you have to keep doing it even on days when you tell yourself you are too busy.

I meditate for 20 minutes morning and night. After breakfast, and then at 4pm – and on days when that’s not possible, on the train or in a taxi. Every little helps. It doesn’t matter whether I close my eyes for two minutes or 20, when I open them I feel better.

I have yet to experience the so-called ‘bliss’ that devotees talk about but I’m just so happy that I’ve found a tool that helps me perform well in the day and sleep better at night.

I wish I’d been taught this at school – it’s the best life skill I’ve ever learnt. But it’s not cheap.

When I turned up for the first open evening at my local TM centre (they’re all over the country), I was told that fees were charged according to income. I would have to  pay £490.

But I did it – and it was the best money I’ve ever spent.

uk.tm.org

Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. Also published in Independent Online: The 8.15 train to Nirvana.

Here is a related article, Transcendental Meditation, by Julie Eagleton, another British journalist who also learned to meditate and wrote about it. Julie has covered arts & culture, fashion, food, health & beauty and travel. Find out more at http://www.julieeagleton.com.

Also see this article by Julie: Meditation Creativity Peace: A Documentary of David Lynch’s 16 Country Tour.

KTVO 3: M.U.M. Gets $1 Million Research Grant

September 26, 2009

MUM gets $1 million research grant

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:37 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — University Receives $1 Million NIH Grant for Mind-Body Medicine Research

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a grant of $500,000 per year for two years for research on the Transcendental Meditation® technique in the treatment of coronary heart disease in African Americans.

The research is a collaboration between Maharishi University of Management Research Institute’s Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention and Columbia University Medical School in New York.

The funding comes from the American Recovery and Investment Act, via the NIH-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

About 21,000 applications were submitted to NIH for these specific funds, with just 3% receiving grants.

“This recent achievement continues to place MUM Research Institute and its research on the Transcendental Meditation technique and Maharishi Vedic MedicineSM programs in an elite category in academic medicine,” said project director Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., and dean of the Maharishi College of Perfect Health.

The research will compare the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation with and without the Transcendental Meditation program, especially after a heart attack. The study will utilize positron emission tomography (PET) to image and quantify changes in heart disease in the patients.

The Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention team includes Sanford Nidich, EdD, Carolyn King, PhD, Maxwell Rainforth, PhD, John Salerno, PhD, Marilyn Ungaro, Laura Alcorn, and Linda Heaton.

See video: http://bit.ly/13D7d4

KTVO Medical News


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