Posts Tagged ‘psychological stress’

Breakthrough in how buildings can promote health and well-being using Maharishi Vastu architectural design principles

May 31, 2022

Ancient architecture system as preventative medicine

Having understood the ill-effects of sick building syndrome and the need to better conserve energy by incorporating green features, architects are also utilizing certain elements of an architectural design system shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, promote physical and mental health, thereby improving the quality of life for its inhabitants.

Summary of findings on Maharishi Vastu architecture. Image credit: Maharishi International University

These findings appear in the first comprehensive review of 40 years of published studies on the benefits of Maharishi Vastu® architecture (MVA) published in the current issue of Global Advances in Health and Medicine (Vol. 11: 1–21): Managing the Built Environment for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with Maharishi Vastu Architecture: A Review. Authors: Jon Lipman, AIA; Lee Fergusson, PhD; Anna Bonshek, PhD; Robert H. Schneider, MD, FACC. Access the Figures and Tables in the paper online.

MVA is a holistic wellness architectural system that aligns buildings with nature’s intelligence, creating balanced, orderly, and integrated living environments with the goal of improving occupants’ lives in several areas.

“We were surprised to find that something so ancient has so much to tell us about how buildings can improve our health and productivity,” said Jon Lipman, AIA, lead author and director of the Institute for Vedic Architecture at Maharishi International University.

Some of the key findings of the review include:

  • Sleeping with one’s head to the east or south is associated with positive health outcomes, such as lower heart rate, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol levels.
  • Homes with south entrances are associated with poorer mental health and more financial problems.
  • Facing east while working is associated with greater brain coherence and faster task completion.
  • Occupants of Maharishi Vastu architecture homes or office buildings show higher creativity and report improved health and quality of life.

Previous research on the impact of buildings focused primarily on assessing stress reduction and increasing comfort and well-being. The findings of this review reinforce the growing recognition that building design plays a key role in both causing and even potentially solving humanity’s health challenges. 

“Modern medicine now recognizes the powerful effects of the ‘envirome’ on health,” said study co-author, Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, and Dean of the College of Integrative Medicine at Maharishi International University. 

“The envirome,” he explained, “includes all the natural and man-made elements of our environment throughout the lifespan, notably the built environment. This review of the science suggests that buildings constructed according to principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture function as positive elements in the envirome to enhance mental and physical health and well-being. Further advances in neuroscience offer plausible physiological explanations for these effects.”

Maharishi Vastu architecture is the recent revival of an ancient architectural system from South Asia. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation organization, systematically integrated over 20 principles into a uniquely comprehensive building system.

Some of the principles included in this system are:

  • The building’s main entrance is oriented to the east or north.
  • The building’s walls align with the cardinal directions.
  • The floor plan assigns key functions to specific locations within the building.
  • The floor plan enables occupants to face the most ideal directions during work and sleep.
  • The architectural plans must adhere to consistent and precise guidelines.
  • In keeping with the idea of providing a healthy environment, the system emphasizes non-toxic, natural materials, increased fresh air, and reduced electromagnetic radiation.

The results of the review suggests that Maharishi Vastu architecture offers a viable approach for using architectural design as a tool for promoting mental and physical health. 

Source: EurekAlert! | Journal: Global Advances in Health and Medicine | DOI: 10.1177/2164957X221077084 | SagePub: PDF

Some News Coverage

The EurekAlert press release was posted widely on science news sites around the world, starting with MedicalXpress, Bioengineer, todayuknews, Medicine World Council, and many others. PsychReg published: Breakthrough Revealed in How Buildings Can Promote Health and Well-Being. Inverse published an in-depth report: This radical architecture style could make future cities good for your health.

KABC in Los Angeles invited Maharishi Vastu architect and US director Jon Lipman on ABC7 Eyewitness news to talk about the recently published review of scientific research on MVA. It aired live Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in their 7:30 AM segment, Study: Home design can affect your health. Here is the 4:20 minute video.

Introduction to Maharishi Vastu architecture

Following news of this published paper, Jon Lipman posted Introduction to Maharishi Vastu architecture. This lively 20 minute video introduces viewers to the main elements of Maharishi Vastu, relates MVA homeowners’ experiences and gives some lovely examples of MVA homes around the world.

Great article on TM helping students boost grades shows the Beatles were way ahead of their time

June 22, 2013

Here is that great article written by , Science Correspondent for The Telegraph, published June 11, 2013, 9:00PM BST: Transcendental Meditation may boost student grades. He says, 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.

BEATLES_2587635kIt seems the Beatles may have been on to something after all during their fabled journey to India.  Photo: GETTY IMAGES

A form of meditation made popular by John Lennon and his band mates during the “flower power” era has been found to improve students’ grades.

A study of school pupils found that performing two 20-minute sessions of Transcendental Meditation each day improves academic achievement.

The practice involves sitting still with eyes closed while chanting a mantra – also sometimes derided as “oming”.

It became synonymous with hippy culture in the 1960s after The Beatles embraced it following a visit to India where they were taught the technique by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Now a growing body of research is suggesting it can have a positive effect on people’s lives.

Recent studies have shown that it can be used to treat high blood pressure and help people overcome psychological problems.

The latest research found that US school pupils who performed the meditation technique had higher graduation rates than those who did not.

The effect was even greater among those who had the lowest academic grades, the research conducted by the University of Connecticut and Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, found.

Researchers found that Transcendental Meditation increased the number of students graduating by 15 per cent while among those with the lowest academic grades, a further 25 per cent graduated compared to those not meditating.

Professor Robert Colbert, from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, said: “Transcendental Meditation appears to hold tremendous promise for enriching the lives of students.”

He added that the meditation technique was a viable method for turning around “poor student academic performance and low graduation rates”.

Sanford Nidich, a professor of education at Maharishi University of Management who conducted the research, added: “These results are the first to show that the Transcendental Meditation program can have a positive impact on student graduation rates.

“The largest effect was found in the most academically challenged students.

“Recently published research on increased academic achievement and reduced psychological stress in urban school students may provide possible mechanisms for the higher graduation rates found in this study.”

It is estimated that around 6 million people now practice Transcendental Meditation around the world.

The technique aims to concentrate the mind inwards by uttering the mantra and is intended to empty the mind of thoughts and feelings.

Proponents of the technique claim it can aid concentration and help to rid them of negative emotions.

The Beatles’ time with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, at his teaching centre in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1968, produced some of the most famous images of the Fab Four, dressed in white and draped in flower garlands.

It was also one of their most productive periods musically, with Lennon declaring that between them they wrote around 30 new songs during their visit to Rishikesh.

The tracks, which ended up on The Beatles, also known as the White Album, and Abbey Road, include Back in the USSR, Blackbird, Revolution and Mean Mr Mustard.

In an interview conducted in 2009, Paul McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr spoke candidly about how the meditation technique helped them.

Starr said: “Since then, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, I have meditated. It is a gift he [the Maharishi] gave me.”

McCartney added: “It wasn’t all about meditation, it’s just you were focused – but yeah, there were very blissful moments.

“It is one of the few things anyone has ever given to me that means so much to me. For us, it came at a time when we were looking for something to stabilise us at the end of the crazy sixties.”

McCartney has also in the past called for Transcendental Meditation to be used in schools.

He said: “I believe that in the future meditation could be as commonplace in schools and society as eco-awareness is now. It interests me that an ancient cure may be the solution to a modern problem.”

The new research, which involved 235 students in their senior year at an urban school on the US east coast, was funded by the David Lynch Foundation, which has been campaigning to have meditation incorporated into the school day.

They claim that where meditation has been used in schools, it has helped to reduce stress and anxiety in pupils while also lowering suspension rates.

The foundation was set up two years ago by film director David Lynch after he used meditation to overcome his own anger issues.

Describing the difference it has made to his life, he said: “When I started meditating I had a real anger in me, and I would take this out on my first wife.

“Two weeks after I started meditating, this anger lifted.”

See EurekAlert! press release for the study: Transcendental Meditation positively impacts student graduation rates, new research shows.

See this related post on some of the news coverage: New study shows TM significantly improved school graduation rates, world press reports.

This article was later highlighted on the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education website on their Spotlight page reporting the latest news: Transcendental Meditation May Boost Student Grades.

See The former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunion for David Lynch’s benefit concert airs on New York’s THIRTEEN, Sunday, April 29.


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