Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Catholic Health World reports on medical students learning Transcendental Meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

October 16, 2018

In the spirit of “Physician, heal thyself,” Catholic Health World reported on Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine offering Transcendental Meditation (TM) as an elective course to students during the past 4 years to help them avoid burnout and develop wellness, preparing them to become more effective physicians. The Uncarved Blog originally helped break the news of the early success of this program. Here is a PDF of the Catholic Health World article.

Medical students learn meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

October 15, 2018 (Volume 34, Number 18)
By Patricia Corrigan

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is believed to be the first major medical school in the country to offer Transcendental Meditation, or TM, as an elective course. Since 2014, the class has been offered to help medical students manage stress.

“A lot of studies show that as many as 50 percent of medical students and residents exhibit symptoms from stress that can develop into burnout, so we’re trying to help students focus on wellness for themselves by teaching skills that they can take with them, skills they will need to be effective physicians,” said Dr. Gregory Gruener, vice dean for education and a neurology professor at Stritch.

w181015_medicalstudents-gruener-2-a

Gruener

In addition to learning the meditation technique, the class reviews the neurophysiology of TM and includes a live demonstration of the brain wave patterns that occur during the practice. Students may attend five lectures over two semesters or view the lectures online. Stritch has even set aside meditation rooms for students.

Gruener counts the TM training as a success. “We don’t push it — it’s one technique — but a significant chunk of the students, about a third of each class, sign up for it, and almost 300 have enrolled since it started.” This year, 66 of the 165 first-year students have signed up so far, and Gruener expects another 10 to 20 to enroll.

Most students who have taken the class have reported the training has “a significant and fundamental impact” on their lives, Gruener said. Danielle Terrell, a resident in pediatric neurosurgery, is one of them.

“Going to medical school — well, that’s not a path to stress relief,” said Terrell. She first took the TM class three years ago and still meditates. “Right after the first meditation class, I instantly felt so much better. The initial benefits are still present, and TM is a great tool to have in my pocket for those days when I am overwhelmed.”

TM uses meditation skills similar to those found in the Catholic, Jesuit traditions of contemplative care. Deans in the admissions offices, the counseling faculty and the clinical physician supervisors at Stritch would agree. They also have learned the meditation technique, which was first taught in India in 1955 and introduced in the U.S. in 1959. An article about the TM class, published in Chicago Medicine magazine in January 2016, is now made available to all students who apply to Stritch.

w181015_medicalstudents-brown-3-a

Brown

“Two students told us they chose Loyola because of the TM elective,” said Carla L. Brown, who teaches the course at Stritch. She co-directs the Center for Leadership Performance in Chicago with her husband, Duncan Brown, who also teaches TM at Stritch on an adjunct basis.

“TM changes the brain — that has been documented scientifically,” Carla Brown said. “It taps into our innate capacity to experience restful alertness, and that refines the functioning of our physiology.” The website for the meditation method notes that some 380 published, peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM “markedly reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue, improves learning ability and promotes balanced functioning of mind and body.”

The medical school is keeping track of whether former students still practice TM. “We haven’t received all the information yet, but even those that are meditating once a day now say they do still notice a benefit,” Gruener said. “Our real concern is how they do away from the support system that was in place for them here, and we will continue to keep in touch.”

Also, as part of a student’s PhD thesis, some faculty members have had MRI scans before and after meditating to determine whether there are changes in the brain that have to do with “anxiety or stress or emotionality.” The study is complete, but Gruener said the data from the thesis is not yet available.

w181015_medicalstudents-1-a

Dr. Danielle Terrell, a resident in pediatric neurosurgery at Louisiana State University — Shreveport, practices stress-busting meditation techniques she learned as a medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The TM class includes outside speakers, among them retired Col. Brian Rees, a physician who talks about the use of meditation in his work with individuals in the military related to building resiliency and the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Students in medical school want to know about the science supporting TM, and they want to meet physicians who research and also practice it,” Gruener said.

The decision to add the meditation technique to the curriculum was serendipitous. “As we were trying to build a broader menu into our wellness program, we heard from a former medical student who had dropped out of school because of anxiety,” Gruener said. “He saw a billboard advertising TM, took the class and found it had a dramatic impact on his life — and he provided the money to begin a pilot program here.”

That program commenced in the fall of 2013. Later, it was modified and the decision was made to offer the course as an elective, with a more flexible schedule. Gruener noted that one reason some students do not enroll is because of the time required to take the five classes and the need to find 20 minutes twice a day to meditate.

“Some students view that as time taken away from studying, even though we try to let them know that if you take care of yourself now, there is a big payback later,” Gruener said. Laughing, he added, “Also, physicians tend to be hardheaded if something isn’t in pill form or can’t be injected. Carla and I have joked that if we had a pill to relieve stress that cost $1,000, all the students would want to take it.”

Gruener said he practices TM, and he openly credits it with reducing his own stress. “You have to embrace wellness and you have to find the time to take control of your own life,” he said. “Once you begin TM, that gets easier.”

# # #

Permission granted by Catholic Health World, October 15, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
I added all hyperlinks except the SSOM-LUC in the opening sentence.
Article URL: https://www.chausa.org/publications/catholic-health-world/archives/issues/october-15-2018/medical-students-learn-meditation-to-counter-stress-promote-physician-wellness

WXYZ Detroit 7 reports major stress problem, also a viable solution: Transcendental Meditation

July 17, 2018

Just saw these separate news reports today, Tue, July 17, 2018, on Twitter by WXYZ-TV Detroit, Channel 7. They compliment each other. One describes a problem — Detroit is 2018’s most stressed city in America, according to study; the other suggests a solution — Stressed out? Anxious? Looking for peace? Why some are turning to Transcendental Meditation.

Turning to Transcendental Meditation for Peace and Wellness

WXYZ’s Alicia Smith produced and presented today’s Living a Better Life segment, Turning to Transcendental Meditation for Peace and Wellness.

Intro: Dozens of celebrities have touted the benefits of Transcendental Meditation…from Katy Perry to Paul McCartney, Nicole Kidman to Hugh Jackman, and even billionaires Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey. Regular folks here in southeast Michigan are among TM’s fans, too.

James Cahaney, longtime TM teacher and Regional Director of the Transcendental Meditation Center in Metro Detroit, is interviewed along with local practitioners. The Troy TM Center looks very professional. This positive news story is impressive, one of the best I’ve seen!

WXYZ 7 Action News is Detroit’s breaking news and weather leader in SE Michigan. That study also named Fresno, California, as the least stressed city in America.

A day later, July 18, WTNH New Haven 8 Weekly Wellness reports on the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation.

A later TV news report came out October 15, 2018 on Spectrum News in Rochester, NY: How This Effortless Meditation Technique Improves Overall Health.

US News and World Report recently featured Fairfield, Iowa and Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities. See Transcending Together, also reported as Iowan City Transcends a Divide.

Excellent interview with @meditationbob by @Caitlinscarlson for @Furthermore from @Equinox on #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018
bob_roth_ph_alexander_berg_0276_crop

Bob Roth, TM Teacher and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation

Can Meditation Cure Stress?

The David Lynch Foundation CEO on the benefits of a regular practice

With Transcendental Meditation, through the use of a mantra—which is a word or a sound that has no meaning—you’re trained to effortlessly dive within and access deeper, quieter, more subtle levels of the mind beneath the waves, beneath the thoughts. And when we do that, there’s a completely different style of the way the brain functions. During TM, there’s what’s called alpha 1 brain waves and that’s the state of deep inner reflection and calm. During mindfulness, it’s called theta brain waves and that is sort of a dream onset.

Why were you excited to collaborate on a mindfulness-based meditation with Equinox to benefit Move for Minds?

I’m always happy to call attention to anything that’s scientifically proven to work. It’s like Vitamin A is different than Vitamin C is different than Vitamin D. And so mindfulness can be a good coping tool for someone and TM is completely different—you use them for different purposes.

You can have multiple tools in your toolbox.

That’s exactly right.

And when you say it’s scientifically proven to work—there’s research that shows how meditation can benefit brain health, right?

Yes. Stress and anxiety either cause or exacerbate 80 percent—if not more—of all illnesses and disorders. There’s a lot of talk these days that stress and anxiety may be an actual causal factor in Alzheimer’s or accelerating the symptoms. High levels of cortisol fuel anxiety, compromise the immune system, and actually undermine memory, the hippocampus. When you get a good night’s sleep, cortisol levels drop about 10 percent. In 20 minutes of TM, cortisol levels drop 30 to 40 percent and remain low afterwards. So this is why we encourage people to meditate at any time during their life. We’re also encouraging research so we can document quite clearly the impact of TM on pre-onset Alzheimer’s and for the symptoms of that.

Any time in life because what researchers are discovering now is Alzheimer’s begins as early as 30 years old.

Even what happens at 30 has been building up probably since you were a kid. It’s like high blood pressure, which doesn’t just come on suddenly. That’s been building for decades.

And you think this is the same thing?

I think any of these things that manifest later in life have been building since the 30s, if not earlier.

So, start meditating in your teens if you can. I know The David Lynch Foundation teaches in schools.

That’s right. It’s an effective preventive modality with enormous side benefits: increased energy, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, increased focus, all those things.

Speaking of energy, can meditation help your athletic performance?

Oh yeah. I teach professional and Olympic athletes and a lot of them will tell you, at the peak levels, it’s not a physical game, it’s a mental game. I teach an Olympian who is in the best imaginable physical shape and they can’t sleep at night and they’re anxious. For health, it’s not just attending to the neck down. And so you could look at TM as an effortless exercise to bring the whole brain into peak performance. And then you’ve got more energy because we deplete so much of our energy in anxiety and worry and insomnia. I like to say, if you’re really on a healthy regime, you exercise, you eat properly, you transcend.

Your book, Strength in Stillness, came out a few months ago. What were the three most surprising things you learned while writing it?

Number one, new research documenting the holistic or global impact that TM has on healthy brain functioning. The second thing I was very surprised or inspired by was to see that, whether you’re the CEO of a huge company or a single mom with two kids, when you look into the eyes of both of them you can see anxiety. Worry is universal. Anxiety is universal. Insomnia is universal. That was shocking to me. And the third was, I’ve been teaching TM for 45 years. It was a wonderful experience for me to just basically have it all flow out. I took the time to write the essential pieces of information that a person would like to know about meditation in general and about my area of expertise, Transcendental Meditation. I didn’t want to try and convince anybody of anything. I just wanted to give them the information and let them be able to make an informed choice for themselves.

The David Lynch Foundation hosted a recent Festival of Disruption. What was the inspiration behind that?

Life itself is perpetual change. We’re changing spouses, we’re changing relationships, we’re changing jobs. There’s so much political upheaval, disruption in the world. And through meditation, we can have the clarity, the energy, really the resilience to make life less of a nightmare and more of a festival. Because it’s happening anyway and we can either be destroyed by it or we can become a master of our life. We can become in control of our life. And we can even enjoy our lives. So the Festival of Disruption means let’s celebrate the creative people who are, in the spite of everything that’s going on in the world today, managing to be creative and inspiring and innovative and forward-looking.

Meditation can help you to do that.

It gives us the resilience, the creativity, the energy, the power to do just that. To enable us. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed by stress, we get overwhelmed by anxiety, and then we start self-medicating. And then life becomes a hell.

What do you think about the evolution of meditation and how it’s now the cool thing to do?

It was really cool and trendy when the Beatles were doing it back in 1968 and 1969 when I started meditating, a billion years ago. And then it sort of disappeared. It’s come back in the last few years and I think there are three reasons why it’s on the one hand trendy, but, on the other hand, being taken very seriously by educators, by medical doctors, by researchers. Number one, we live in an epidemic of stress, and that’s killing us. Number two, modern medicine has no magic pill to cure or prevent this epidemic. We mask it with alcohol and tobacco and drugs and coffee. We mask it or we manage it with sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication. But stress is like a tumor. Even though on the surface we’re masking it, it’s still metastasizing. So that’s the second reason, to be free. And number three, there’s been so much research on meditation in general that it’s given a legitimacy to the whole field.

What’s ahead in the next three years, I think, is that there’s going to be a clearing out because a lot of it is just junk. A lot of it is trendy stuff to make a buck. But, as the problems of stress become greater, society is going to look more carefully, like we would with medicine, at what’s really working.

Fortune, Forbes, Business Insider report on the beneficial effects of @TMmeditation in business

May 4, 2017

There’s been a strong interest in meditation lately among stressed, high-powered Wall Street bankers, investors, and CEOs. Many extol the virtues of Transcendental Meditation, aka TM. One investor describes TM as “Low investment, High return.” Here are a few of the many articles in such leading publications as Fortune, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Fortune reports: This Banking CEO Swears by Meditation. Barry Sommers (J.P. Morgan) has been doing Transcendental Meditation twice a day for the last ten years. He says he saw major positive changes in a longtime friend and colleague. Sommers then learned about TM from Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation. Watch this dynamic video clip from Fortune’s second annual Brainstorm Health conference, moderated by Arianna Huffington. It’s embedded in this Fortune article: Why America’s Top Bosses Love Sleep and Meditation, part of which is excerpted here:

CEO Barry Sommers speaks on TM at Fortune's 2nd annual Brainstorm Health conference

CEO Barry Sommers praises TM at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference

Some corners of corporate America have long had a culture that wears its long and grueling hours like a badge of honor. Now a group of executives is trying to change that by opening up about how they each found balance in their own lives and by making wellness a priority at their companies.

“I’ve found in a culture like Wall Street, people are obsessed with how many hours people work,” said Barry Sommers, CEO of Wealth Management at J.P. Morgan Chase, during Fortune’s second annual Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Tuesday. “Way too many people are getting out of there as fast as they can because they’re totally burnt out.”

Sommers decided to take his health into his own hands a decade ago after someone he’d known personally and professionally for 30 years started doing Transcendental Meditation. “It transformed this person’s life,” he said. “I saw a different person.”

Sommers has now been doing Transcendental Meditation 20 minutes two times a day for a decade. And he prioritizes sleep, getting seven and half to eight hours every night. “I changed my schedule and lifestyle,” he said. “When I do a dinner, we’ll be at the restaurant at 5pm, not at 8pm.” He said his kids make fun of it, but he wakes up every morning “incredibly happy.” If there’s a problem at the office, his employees know to call the house and his wife will wake him up. But rarely is there anything so important that it can’t wait until the morning, he said.

“This goes completely against mainstream assumption that J.P. Morgan is the boiler room of burnout,” said Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, who moderated the panel.

Forbes, France also covered this topic: Transcendental Meditation: The Secret Weapon of Leaders, which includes this embedded video of Ken Gunsberger, from the Center for Leadership Performance.

Ken Gunsberger, VP, UBS Wealth Management in New York .png

Ken Gunsberger, VP, UBS Wealth Management New York, doing his TM

Writer Catherine Nivez interviewed Wall Street investor and TM meditator Ken Gunsberger who refers to TM as “Low investment, High return.” Vice President of UBS Wealth Management in New York, Kenneth Gunsberger manages his clients’ fortunes, market competition and professional stress. Leonard Stein, TM Teacher representing DLF in Geneva, is also quoted extensively in this excellent article.

In the video, Ken expresses a concern to his NY TM instructor: “How am I gonna know when I’m “in the zone” when I’m meditating? The reply he was given: “You’re not. The goal is to not be in the zone when you’re meditating. The goal is to be in the zone when you’re done. When you’re in that meeting at work. When you’re with your kids. When you’re with your spouse. That’s when you wanna be in the zone.”

Ken adds: “And because of the TM it has enabled me to do a much better job all across the board.” Ken said TM “literally changed my life.” After meditating only two and a half months his business increased; he had the best month in twenty-five years. Even his relationship with his daughter improved. He sums up the results of his TM practice this way: “Better choices. Better allocation of energy. Better results.”

Click on the link to watch to the rest of the video. Click the title to read the article. If you don’t understand French, use Google Translate. It’s worth the effort.

Business Insider has written before about TM in Business. Recently, Richard Feloni wrote a comprehensive report: Transcendental Meditation, which Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio calls ‘the single biggest influence’ on his life, is taking over Wall Street. It was republished in many places, including SFGATE. Here is an excerpt:

Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates, world's largest hedge fund

Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates, world’s largest hedge fund

Around eight years ago, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio introduced Transcendental Meditation to his then—735 employees.

Dalio had already established a unique, intense culture at Bridgewater that he likes to say is akin to being part of an ” intellectual Navy SEALs ,” and he believed that Transcendental Meditation (TM) would work as an effective counterbalance.

“I did it because it’s the greatest gift I could give anyone—it brings about equanimity, creativity and peace,” Dalio told me via email.

Since then, TM has popped into the mainstream, and over the last three years, the David Lynch Foundation TM center has taught almost 2,500 professionals, with roughly 55% of those from Wall Street, and 1,150 of those in 2016 alone.

Read the rest of this fabulous article—Transcendental Meditation, which Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio calls ‘the single biggest influence’ on his life, is taking over Wall Street—one of the best yet, and other TM articles archived on their website.

Note: I gave Jochen Uebel permission to translate this post into German: Prominente Business-Zeitschriften berichten über Transzendentale Meditation (Prominent business magazines report on Transcendental Meditation).

Physician recommends wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners

February 1, 2017

Medical doctor calls for mind-body approaches to help prisoners reduce stress, trauma, and recidivism

image

A group of female inmates practicing Transcendental Meditation experienced significant reductions in trauma symptoms compared to a control group. Photo credit: The Oregon Department of Corrections*

A randomized study published online January 17, 2017 in The Permanente Journal on 22 female prisoners found that those practicing Transcendental Meditation for four months had significant reductions in total trauma symptoms compared with a control group. And a similar study in the same journal published October 7, 2016, involving 181 male prisoners found a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms compared to a non-meditating control group.

In an editorial, published February 1, 2017 to accompany the two studies on Transcendental Meditation in their Winter 2017 print edition, Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP, a clinician and researcher with Kaiser Permanente, called for wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners.

Advantages of mind-body interventions for prisoners

Dr. Elder cited many of the advantages of these interventions.

Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP

Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP

“Mind-body interventions can provide the patient with a simple self-help tool that can effectively reduce anxiety, help treat substance abuse, reduce inmate recidivism, and help address a range of medical conditions,” he wrote, citing research on Transcendental Meditation that supports these benefits.

In addition to these benefits, he points out that a mind-body intervention can be cost-effective. Since Transcendental Meditation has been shown to reduce recidivism — the percentage of inmates returning to prison after their release — it can save money that would otherwise be spent on incarceration. And, he points out, a prisoner who becomes a productive member of society provides an economic benefit, instead of a deficit.

Rebecca Pak of The Women’s Prison Association agrees with Dr. Elder, “The results inside correctional facilities and schools with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding. If we shifted our focus from punitive responses to interventions designed to improve mental and physical health, we would have much greater impact.”

Convenience of mind-body interventions

Dr. Elder also describes the convenience of mind-body approaches.

“Once taught the technique, an individual can use the skill for the duration of his or her life, as a stress management tool, providing ongoing benefits across a range of domains…. In addition to helping the inmate cope with the stress of incarceration, there is a range of additional ‘side benefits,’ ranging from reduced recidivism to improved cardiovascular health.”

He says a trained instructor can take Transcendental Meditation directly to the prisoners, rather than their going to a clinic or meditation center. And direct personal instruction is better than trying to learn a mind-body intervention online, since many may be unable or unwilling to engage an online format.

Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation

image

Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author

Led by Sanford Nidich, EdD, Director of the Maharishi University of Management Center for Social and Emotional Health, the two recent studies published by The Permanente Journal were conducted at three prisons in Oregon. The hypothesis was that Transcendental Meditation would help prisoners deal with serious trauma and stress. Surveys have shown that prisoners have one of the highest rates of lifetime trauma of any segment of society, with 85% having been a victim of a crime-related event, such as robbery or home invasion, or physical or sexual abuse.

This trauma leads to stress and poor lifestyle choices, including crime and substance abuse. In addition to these recent studies, earlier ones have found that Transcendental Meditation helps inmates deal with trauma and stress and reduces recidivism. Here is a sampling, with some listed in the editorial:

• 2017 — the study described above that found reduced trauma in female prisoners in Oregon

• 2016 — the study mentioned above that found a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms in male prisoners in Oregon over the course of the four-month study, including a reduction in anxiety, depression, dissociation, and sleep disturbance, as well as a significant decrease in perceived stress

• 2003 — A study of 17 subjects at La Tuna federal penitentiary in Texas showed a reduction on the MMPI psychasthenia scale, suggesting a reduction in obsessive–compulsive behavior, and a decrease in social introversion.

• 2003 — A retrospective followup on 152 inmates who had learned Transcendental Meditation at Walpole prison in Massachusetts found that these inmates were 33% less likely to have returned to prison after 30 days compared to a control group that participated in counseling, drug rehabilitation and religious activities, and 47% less likely compared to all non-meditating control subjects.

• 2003 — A retrospective analysis of 248 inmates at Folsom State Prison used Cox regression analysis to calculate that prisoners who learn Transcendental Meditation are 43.5% less likely to return to prison.

• 1987 — A study of 259 inmates who had learned Transcendental Meditation at several different prisons in California found that they were 40% less likely to have returned to prison one year after release compared to matched controls, and 30% less likely after six years.

• 1978 — A study of 115 inmates at Folsom Prison in California found a reduction in anxiety, negativism, and suspicions, as well as improved sleep.

“The overall body of research suggests that Transcendental Meditation could be used more widely to help prisoners deal with trauma and stress,” said Dr. Nidich, lead author of the recent studies conducted at Oregon prisons.

Source: Mind-Body Training for At-Risk Populations: Preventive Medicine at its Best. [PDF]

About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The TM technique is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, TM practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. It automatically and effortlessly allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of deep inner calm. For more information visit www.tm.org.

*Photo: The Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.

MarketWired: Medical doctor calls for mind-body approaches to help prisoners reduce stress, trauma, and recidivism

Related posts: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces trauma symptoms in female prisoners and Transcendental Meditation reduced stress and trauma symptoms in male prisoners in 4 months

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces trauma symptoms in female prisoners

January 17, 2017

image

The first study to specifically focus on reducing stress in female prisoners has found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces trauma symptoms. Women have become the fastest growing prison population in the U.S., and research shows they suffer from higher rates of mental and emotional trauma, and higher rates of sexual abuse than men. This randomized controlled trial, published in The Permanente Journal, follows a recent study on reduced trauma in male inmates through Transcendental Meditation.

Significant reduction in trauma

The results showed that after four months of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, the women inmates in the meditation group had significant reductions in total trauma symptoms, including intrusive thoughts and hyperarousal compared with controls. Trauma symptoms were measured using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian (PCL-C).

‘This study is a valuable addition to the research literature in women’s mental health, showing a natural and effortless alternative approach to reducing trauma symptoms,” said lead author Dr. Sanford Nidich, director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management. “It further replicates an earlier randomized controlled trial with Transcendental Meditation (TM) in male prison inmates suffering from high levels of trauma symptoms. Previous studies have shown reduced trauma in other populations, including veterans and African refugees with the TM program.”

Comments from the subjects

Those practicing Transcendental Meditation in their prison cells said they felt a lot better—less stressed, with a greater sense of inner freedom and resilience. Read some of the dramatic changes in their own words, and more details about this study in the press release.

The study was funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

Expanding preventive medicine to include mind-body approaches

In addition to the study on TM, the January 2017 issue of The Permanente Journal includes a companion editorial by Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP, titled, “Mind-Body Training for At-Risk Populations: Preventative Medicine at its Best.”

According to Charles Elder, MD, Kaiser Permanente, Northwest, “A principle advantage of the TM technique is a time-tested, standardized intervention protocol…. Once taught the Transcendental Meditation technique, an individual can use the skill for the duration of his or her life, as a stress management tool, providing ongoing benefits across a range of domains. In addition to helping the inmate cope with the stress of incarceration, there is a range of additional ‘side benefits,’ ranging from reduced recidivism to improved cardiovascular health.”

Related: See this recent study explaining how and why Transcendental Meditation is effortless, distinguishing it from other practices.

Transcendental Meditation reduced stress and trauma symptoms in male prisoners in 4 months

January 1, 2017

Prisoners have one of the highest rates of lifetime trauma of any segment of society, with recent surveys showing that 85% have been a victim of a crime-related event, such as robbery or home invasion, or physical or sexual abuse. Trauma is associated with higher rates of recidivism (returning to prison) and mental and physical health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.

A randomized controlled trial of 181 male Oregon state correctional inmates found that the Transcendental Meditation program significantly decreased total trauma symptoms, anxiety, depression, dissociation and sleep disturbance subscales, and perceived stress compared to controls over a four-month period. Trauma symptoms and perceived stress were assessed using the Trauma Symptoms Checklist and the Perceived Stress Scale.

image

Within the TM group, a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms was observed over the course of the four-month study. Further post-hoc analysis showed a 56% reduction within the TM group for those with the highest level of trauma symptoms above the mean in baseline trauma scores.

Compliance with TM practice was high. Of those randomized to learn the TM program, 88% completed the initial seven-step TM course (total of five sessions) and over 80% were regular with their daily TM practice over the course of the four-month study, which included weekly meetings to ensure continued correct effortless practice.

“To date this is the largest randomized controlled trial with the Transcendental Meditation program on trauma symptoms,” said Dr. Nidich, lead author of the study and director of Maharishi University of Management Center for Social and Emotional Health. “These findings, along with previous published research on veterans, active military personnel, international refugees, and other at-risk populations provide support for the value of the Transcendental Meditation program as an alternative treatment for posttraumatic stress.”

“I have watched inmates learn Transcendental Meditation and become more human after a long and isolating period of becoming less human,” said study co-author Dr. Tom O’Conner, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Western Oregon University. “TM helps to awaken, deepen, and solidify the kind of transformational process that we so badly need in our overburdened and costly correctional system.”

The study, Reduced trauma symptoms and perceived stress in male prison inmates through the Transcendental Meditation program: A randomized controlled trial, was published in The Permanente Journal, and funded by the David Lynch Foundation

Read more valuable information about this study in the press release, from where this content was excerpted, on EurekAlert!/AAAS.

NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101089/

Another study, this one done with female prisoners, also in Oregon, will be published later this month.

Excellent article on Transcendental Meditation written by Sarah Klein in Prevention Magazine

February 14, 2016

Preface: Electrical Analogies

Rosenthal_N

Norman Rosenthal

I find it fascinating that Norman Rosenthal and Jerry Seinfeld have come up with their own opposite electrical analogies to describe how Transcendental Meditation works — as both a surge protector and a battery charger!

People exposed to continual stressful trauma suffer from PTSD. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal says Transcendental Meditation is like a surge protector against stress. First it calms the amygdala; it turns down that alarm bell where there no longer is a fire.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

And equally important, TM acts as a buffer against future stressful reactions. The nervous system becomes more resilient to stressful stimuli; they’re no longer interpreted as such. The individuals have normalized.

Jerry Seinfeld compares TM to a phone charger for your whole body and mind. He reminds us how we charge our cellphones and then use them throughout the whole day. That’s what TM does for him. It sets him up for his day fully charged until his next TM session to recharge.

Prevention Magazine article on Transcendental Meditation

Bob Roth

Bob Roth

Rosenthal was interviewed and Seinfeld mentioned in an excellent article for Prevention Magazine by staff writer Sarah Klein. It’s nicely designed with graphics, photos and relevant links to cited studies and video clips.

Others interviewed were Bob Roth, executive director for the David Lynch Foundation, and Sandy Nidich, professor and researcher at Maharishi University of Management. Others referenced and linked to are Ellen Degeneres, Jim Carrey, and Oprah Winfrey.

Klein seems to understand her subject even though she probably has not experienced it. Her writing is clear and objective. She’s done her homework when it comes to the science, and integrates her interviewees remarks to full advantage. It’s a pleasure to read a TM article like this when someone gets it right!

Enjoy reading This Is Your Brain On Transcendental Meditation.

For information on Transcendental Meditation visit www.tm.org.

Transcendental Meditation at Prevention R3 Summit

A month before the Prevention Magazine article, Bob Roth was invited to give a talk on Transcendental Meditation at the 3rd annual Prevention R3 Summit. He spoke January 15, 2016, the opening night of the Summit, at ACL Live in The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Check the DavidLynchFoundation YouTube Channel for a description of his talk. Austin Art Examiner writer Nicolette Mallow was there and interviewed Bob Roth for her article on this self-transcending form of meditation that can transform people’s lives for the better.

In related news, read about The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school.

Jennie Gritz explored the use of TM in education in her article for The Atlantic: Quiet Time Brings Transcendental Meditation to Public Schools.

Great article on TM’s successful resurgence and supportive applications in health and education

April 28, 2015

FORBES: PHARMA & HEALTHCARE 4/27/2015 @ 11:20AM
Contributor Alice G. Walton covers health, medicine, psychology and neuroscience.

Transcendental Meditation Makes A Comeback, With The Aim Of Giving Back

Transcendental meditation (TM) has been having a renaissance in recent years: Celebrities, businesspeople, and regular folk are practicing it in record numbers. Last week, the David Lynch Foundation, the major non-profit champion of TM, hosted an event in New York City at which public figures like Arianna Huffington, Robin Roberts, and Cynthia McFadden discussed the transforming role of TM in their lives. They made compelling arguments for what the practice had done for them, as previously harried and stressed-to-the-max businesspeople – they may still be stressed, but at least they’re able to balance it with a sense of calm. But the Foundation has a larger goal: To bring TM to schoolchildren, domestic abuse survivors, veterans, and prison inmates to help give them tools to process their trauma and reclaim the capacity to live fulfilling lives. And that’s not a bad goal to have.

The TM movement itself has had some bumps in its past. Developed in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it rose to popularity after The Beatles “discovered” and helped propagate it – by the late 70s, 4% of Americans were practicing TM, according to a Gallup poll. Then things started to get shaky – and TM began to be associated with some cultishness. But in the last decade or so, the practice has gained back the respect and indeed acclaim, as people – some very famous ones – began to flock to it for its simple and straightforward method to find inner peace.

The business-meets-meditation stories are everywhere these days. Huffington told the endearing but jarring story of when she’d awoken in a pool of her own blood in her office, having passed out from exhaustion; it was then, she said, that she realized that money and power were only two legs of a three-legged stool – self-care, including meditation, being the other critical leg. And the list of companies that encourage their employees to meditate – by teaching it to them and by providing meditation time and space – is growing. Google, Target, Nike, Aetna, and Goldman Sachs have integrated meditation into their cultures.

But the more pressing focus of the David Lynch Foundation is to give psychological support in the form of TM, at low or no cost, to those who need it most: Veterans, schoolchildren, prison inmates, and women and children who have survived domestic abuse. To be sure, TM isn’t the only meditative practice that’s been used to help these groups of people. Yoga, mindfulness, and other forms of meditation are other increasingly common tools in the “service” arena. But, says Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, there’s something quite simple and powerful about TM which makes it particularly well-suited to touch people who have been through emotional turmoil, or worse. Perhaps its greatest benefit is that it’s relatively quick to learn and easy to master. No waiting weeks or months of practice before you see results: TM cuts right to the chase, taking only days – or for some, minutes – before one feels reprieve from their painful and overwhelming thoughts.

“With TM, you’re given a mantra – a word with no meaning – and taught how to use it,” says Roth. “The active thinking mind settles down to a state of inner calm without any effort. It’s not clearing your mind, as in focused awareness meditation, and not gently observing thoughts as in open monitoring (which is vipassana, or mindfulness). I can put it even more succinctly: TM uses sounds or mantra that has no meaning as a vehicle to experience a quieter, less agitated thought process.”

With the two classical forms of meditation – focused awareness (samatha) and open monitoring/mindfulness (vipassana) there’s generally more practice involved. With focused awareness, the practitioner uses a mantra or other object of concentration to bring a wandering mind back, again and again. With open monitoring/mindfulness, people observe their thoughts with curiosity and some detachment, so that they eventually lose their charge. Though the former is typically learned before the latter, they ultimately work in tandem and complement one another in practice.

To describe TM’s psychological effects, Roth often uses an ocean analogy: An agitated mind, he says, is like 30-foot surges at the surface of the ocean. Focused awareness tries to stop the waves at the top, he says, while open monitoring tries to observe them until they go away. TM, on the other hand, says Roth, has its practitioners plunge deep below the waves, to a quieter depth that’s perfectly still, and blissful. Roth adds that unlike the two classic forms of meditation, “the third form of meditation, TM, is self-transcending. It’s not concentration, and it’s not simply observing thought. TM creates a specific type of alpha brain waves, which is indicative of a unique state of ‘restful alertness.’”

The practice does seem to be helping a great number of people. Roth says the Foundation has helped bring meditation to half a million school children all over the world, and hopes to bring it to three million adults and children in the next five years. It’s also taught TM to 2,000 veterans and as many female victims of domestic abuse through Family Justice Centers across the country, where it’s offered free of charge. The Foundation has also just begun to teach the perpetrators of that abuse, Roth says. The Foundation can barely keep up with all the requests it has from school systems, family centers, and prisons to teach TM.

“There is no medicine, no wonder drug you can take to prevent trauma and toxic stress. And there is no pill you can take to treat or cure it,” says Roth, “Ambien and Xanax, while perhaps helpful to some, are often abused or mere Band-Aid solutions.” There is some relatively strong evidence that TM can affect the stress response, and much of the scientific support for TM comes from its effects on the cardiovascular system, and blood pressure reduction. “The problem of stress is not going away, it’s getting worse and worse,” says Roth. “TM can be an effective tool. It helps you navigate increasingly stressful times. I’m a skeptical person. There’s nothing to believe in. There’s no buy-in. It just works.”

Read the rest of the article here: http://onforb.es/1IfgdIl

Two Transcendental Meditation @TMmeditation articles in @THR on @DAVID_LYNCH and @DrOz

January 11, 2014

Here are two excellent articles about Transcendental Meditation published in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, part of a Health series on how stress effects celebrities and what they do to relieve it. One mentions David Lynch, the other, Dr. Oz. Click on titles to see original articles with photos.

How David Lynch and His Hollywood Friends Are Bringing Back Transcendental Meditation

One of film’s darkest directors, with help from Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Jackman, is shining a light by bringing meditation to everyone from PTSD sufferers to inner-city kids.

January 10, 2014 | by Seth Abramovitch

Call it the ultimate comeback. Transcendental meditation — which involves speaking a silent mantra to oneself for 20 minutes, twice daily — is an ancient practice that is now attracting some of Hollywood’s biggest names, who insist that its stress-relief benefits are nothing short of miraculous: Among its most powerful practitioners are Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman and Russell Brand — who all have become supporters of David Lynch and his plans to bring meditation to people in dire need of stress relief. A directing genius whose dark dreamscapes are littered with severed ears and plastic-wrapped homecoming queens, Lynch, 67, has morphed into one of the world’s most enthusiastic if unlikely TM cheerleaders.

Lynch first encountered TM in 1974, as he searched for ways to combat mounting anger and depression relating to his epic struggle to get his first feature, the mind-bending Eraserhead, to the big screen. “I had a weakness inside,” says Lynch from his Hollywood Hills studio, a splash of sunlight illuminating his famous white pompadour. “That kind of thing, in this business, you’re a sitting duck. You could get slaughtered.” It was then that he decided to try his hand at TM, an ancient practice revived by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an expat from India who rocketed to stardom during the 1960s as The Beatles‘ spiritual adviser. Lynch feared TM might dull his artistic edge, but he says the opposite happened — it helped him to access untapped fonts of creativity. He even goes so far as to credit the practice with potentially having saved his life: “I was even thinking at the time, ‘If I didn’t have this meditation, I might have seen that a way out was suicide.’ ”

The Twin Peaks mastermind hasn’t missed a single day of meditation in the 40 years since. In 2005, that devotion led him to found The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, a nonprofit that brings TM to inner-city students, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and victims of domestic violence. The foundation has taught the fundamentals to more than 500,000 at-risk candidates, and Lynch says the effects have been astonishing: “Before too long, they’re saying, ‘Thank you very much. I got my life back again.’ ” In celebration of Lynch’s birthday on Jan. 20, DLF Live, the foundation’s live-performance arm, is mounting a benefit at the El Rey Theatre, where Ringo Starr is set to receive the Lifetime of Peace & Love Award. Ben Harper and Ben Folds are slated to perform. And on Feb. 27, Dixie Chicks will headline a night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel honoring record producer (and longtime TM practitioner) Rick Rubin. For the admittedly shy director, Hollywood’s ongoing love affair with TM offers a highly effective method of spreading the gospel. “Life gets better and better and better,” says Lynch of his 40-year journey. “That’s the long and the short of it.”

Stress-Free 2014: Dr. Oz Reveals How He Takes the Edge Off Shooting a TV Show

The talk show host shares his tips for dialing down the shooting-schedule meltdowns, including sacred mantras.

January 10, 2014 | As told by Dr. Oz

In medical school for cardiothoracic surgery, I learned early on the acute effect of stress on performance, decision-making and emotions. As I  looked inside people’s chests at their hearts, I saw the effect of chronic stress: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity. Stress is the No. 1 driver of aging. It’s downright toxic.

In 2009, we launched The Dr. Oz Show. I found a new type of stress as I acclimated to taping, field shoots, voiceovers, rehearsals, script review and appearances. I continued with surgery on Thursdays. The operating room, once a place of total chaos, became a respite for me, offering a familiarity that grounded me.

This may surprise you, but I see many similarities in making a television show and working in the operating room. In both, a team of experts with diverse job responsibilities is exercising expertise toward a grand outcome — either a healthy patient or a great show. Both require teamwork and careful choreography. Both have a team of technology experts whose job is to keep delicate machinery running. Both are fast-paced. And perhaps most similar: Both involve glaring lights under which you are expected to literally perform magic! Ergo, both involve extraordinary stress.

Like the staff at the hospital, my team at the show had comparable stress, and it showed. Unlike other industries, the world literally sees our mistakes. This provides an additional stress dynamic. I saw scripts so revised that it felt like we were back to square one. Tempers would flare occasionally.

I deployed various measures for the staff at the show to deal with the stress. First, you have to eat the right foods. A certain talk-show host whose studio was across the hall and who shall remain nameless good-naturedly served beer, pretzels and cupcakes for his late-night staff. Our tables served granola, quinoa and 2 percent Greek yogurt. I even sent a few healthy snacks across the hall.

I encourage staff to exercise. I also brought in teachers of transcendental meditation, and each employee receives group and individual training. We do meditations in the office twice daily — at 8 a.m., before morning taping, and at 5 p.m., At these times, an announcement is made over the office intercom, and staffers are encouraged to report to the conference room, where a group meditation takes place. Oftentimes, teachers will give staffers a personal mantra, which is secret, that they then repeat over and over. Keeping it to yourself makes it feel sacred.

These Pret-a-Reporter stories first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.


%d bloggers like this: