Lowering blood pressure: How TM works
Transcending has an effect on blood pressure that sometimes even medication cannot achieve…with positive side benefits.
American Heart Association recommends TM
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently published an analysis* of 40 years of research around all methods for lowering blood pressure. Their conclusion on meditation techniques was that TM was the only technique for which a real effect could be demonstrated. In their publication they therefore gave the green light to doctors to use TM as a method of clinical treatment for high blood pressure.
The publication noted that other meditation and relaxation techniques, including Mindfulness and Yoga, were not recommended by the AHA to reduce high blood pressure:
“Because of many negative studies or mixed results and a paucity of available trials, all other meditation techniques received a ‘Class III, no benefit, Level of Evidence C’ recommendation. Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended in clinical practice to lower BP at this time.”
*Brook RD et al., Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Hypertension, 61:00, April 2013.
How can a simple meditation technique lower blood pressure?
It is generally known that when we are tense, blood pressure increases. Transcending, the state of consciousness spontaneously reached through the practice of TM, coincides with a very deep state of relaxation, causing blood pressure to lower and also activating a powerful capability within the body to heal itself, to correct internally what is wrong. (see transcending = activation of the body’s own healing power). This, in the longterm, results in the ability to remain more relaxed outside of meditation, and to more permanently lower blood pressure.
This can be seen by measuring the plasma (blood) lactate (a stress hormone related to high blood pressure). Analysis of the average values of 31 different TM studies demonstrated that plasma lactate strongly decreased during TM practice, much more so than during relaxation or even sleep. And after 3-4 months it remained at lower levels, even outside of TM practice.
Medication can lower blood pressure, but it is costly and can have adverse side effects. Moreover, it often only suppresses the symptoms, without really solving the problem. From the moment medication is stopped, blood pressure usually increases again. However, transcending turns out to have a long-term effect. By transcending and giving the body the chance to heal itself, all aspects of life improve: health, well-being, relationships, success, and even society as a whole.
The long-term effect of TM on Hypertension: Scientific research
The research on the effect of TM on high blood pressure is exceptional for two reasons:
1. It demonstrates an exceptional effect, as hypertension is difficult to resolve.
2. This effect is confirmed through several studies of exceptionally high quality.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a research institute of the US government known for its high research standards. Despite being selective about the research projects they support, they have spent over 24 million USD in support of research on the effect of Transcendental Meditation on the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. The reason: Transcendental Meditation works; and it is the only thing that really works.
This one study, for example, followed 127 African-American test subjects with an average blood pressure of 179/104 mm Hg at the start of the study. They were randomly divided into 3 groups, a TM group, a group that practised a relaxation technique (progressive muscle relaxation), and a control group that received health education around the importance of changing their lifestyle. Researchers did not know who belonged to which group.
Within three months the blood pressure in the TM group had lowered by 10,7/6,4 mm Hg as compared to the control group, which showed no significant change. (p<.0003/p<.00005 what is a p-value?) The relaxation group showed a slight decrease, but 3 times less than the TM group. Ref.Hypertension 26: 820–827, 1995
TM turns out to be the only alternative treatment that works significantly.
The Transcendental Meditation technique turns out to be the only alternative treatment that works significantly.
The following study is an NIH sponsored meta-analysis, a calculation of the average effect of all studies ever published, both on the Transcendental Meditation technique as well as other alternative stress-reducing methods ever researched. It demonstrated that only TM had a statistically significant effect on lowering blood pressure (average -5 mmHg p<.0002). This research was published in Current Hypertension Reports 9: 520–528, 2007. Read the full publication here.
This effect is not as a big as the previous study because most TM studies are carried out with individuals with mild hypertension, whereas in the previous study blood pressure was very high at the start of the study. Transcendental Meditation has a balancing effect on the entire nervous system, and the more the system is out of balance, the bigger the normalising effect.
Other NIH studies have found that:
– Many Transcendental Meditation practitioners are able to reduce or even stop their use of blood pressure lowering medication, without blood pressure subsequently increasing.
– TM also works to reverse hypertension in youth.
– TM insulin resistance reduces, see diabetes
– Among heart patients who were followed for 9 years, the TM group had 43% less instances of heart attack, stroke, or death. For those who had practised TM more regularly, the difference was 61%: see heart problems
– Arterosclerosis reduces in TM practitioners, see atherosclerosis
In total more than 30 studies were carried out around the effect of Transcendental Meditation on high blood pressure. These confirm the effect for several age groups in different parts of the world. You can find some examples here: research high blood pressure (more research will be added later).
For the NIH study (with full publications) go to: http://www.doctorsontm.com/national-institutes-of-health
Doctors support TM
The NIH research has led to Dr Mehmet Oz, perhaps the most famous doctor in the US, and an influential heart specialist, giving his full support to the Transcendental Meditation technique (see video America’s most famous doctor supports TM). In this video Dr Oz discusses the effect of TM on 3 big risk factors for heart problems: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
For more questions about the effect of TM on high blood pressure, and a deeper insight into how it actually works, go to: doctors answer questions: TM and hypertension
How can a simple technique do so much?
600 studies confirm the effect of TM with:
- Less stress
- How TM works
- Emotional stability
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Better Health
- General Health
- Becoming Younger