Meditation reduces heart attacks and strokes

Meditation halves the rate of heart attacks, strokes and the rate of death according to a nine-year scientific study.

The results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine provide hard data from the first long-term randomised clinical trial of its kind on the topic.

“These findings are the strongest documented effects yet produced by a mind-body intervention on cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

‘The effect is as large or larger than major categories of drug treatment for cardiovascular disease.

The NZ$4.6 million study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Scientists tracked 201 African American men and women with an average age of 59, all of whom had narrowing arteries in their hearts. Participants stayed on their current medication and were randomly assigned to either a meditation group or a control group that was given ‘conventional health eduction classes.’

Comparing the two groups, researchers found that those who practiced Transcendental Meditation decreased the likelihood of death, nonfatal heart attack and stroke by 47 per cent. People in the meditation group experienced significant drops in blood pressure, stress and anger, which could help explain the results, the researchers said.

Transcendental Meditation was made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960’s and is also practiced by celebrities such as Richard Branson, Jerry Seinfield, Moby, and author John Gray.



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