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Transcendental Meditation Can Reduce Blood Pressure

Study finds young adults at risk of hypertension benefit from transcendental meditation training

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who complete a program of training in transcendental meditation, and who are at risk of hypertension, are able to use the relaxation method to lower their blood pressure and levels of psychological distress, according to a study published online Oct. 1 and in the December issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.

Sanford I. Nidich, Ph.D., of the Maharishi University of Management Research Institute, Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, and colleagues conducted a study of 298 university students who were randomized to either a waiting list or a program of transcendental meditation training. The subjects' blood pressure levels, psychological distress and coping ability were assessed at baseline and after three months.

The researchers found that, in the intervention group, there was a reduction in systolic blood pressure of −2.0 mm Hg, and a −1.2 mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, compared to an increase of 0.4 mm Hg and 0.5 mm Hg, for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively, in the control group.

"This is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that a selected mind-body intervention, the transcendental meditation program, decreased blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension," the authors write. "This mind-body program may reduce the risk for future development of hypertension in young adults."

One of the study's authors is a consultant to Maharishi Health Technologies L.L.C.

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