This week the Huffington Post featured on its homepage an article about Dr. Mehmet Oz and his advice for the new year: Meditate. The article included a video of his recent talk on the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for reducing stress and promoting heart health.
Dr. Oz is a nationally renowned medical expert—you may have seen him on The Dr. Oz Show or during one of his frequent appearances on Oprah. He is a heart surgeon and medical professor at Columbia University.
Dr. Oz is also a two-year practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique and an outspoken supporter of the work of the David Lynch Foundation to bring meditation to at-risk populations. His talk at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art of Art helped the David Lynch Foundation raise funds to bring the TM technique to 10,000 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As you will see in the video, Dr. Oz explains the devastating effects of the build-up of stress on heart health, and presents published research showing how the Transcendental Meditation program impacts the three main risk factors of heart disease.
“This impact in the TM control group is stunning—unimaginable. When you talk about these causes of death and you can reduce them by that much, as well as non-fatal strokes and non-fatal heart attacks, these are spectacularly large impacts.” — Dr. Mehmet Oz
Excerpt from this Huffington Post article about Dr. Oz’s talk:
“According to polls, the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2011 are: lose weight, quit drinking and/or smoking, exercise, manage your debt, reduce stress, get a better job, fall in love and volunteer to help others.
But if Dr. Mehmet Oz is correct, perhaps “learn to meditate” should be added to the top of everyone’s list.
Meditation is emerging as a powerful stress buster. Research shows that it can have health benefits equivalent to or better than some of the leading medications for reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
“As a heart surgeon, I see the effects of stress on the heart. . . This meditation, we believe, can help a lot of people. It’s important to understand exactly how TM reduces stress and stress-related disorders.”
1. Journal of Human Stress 5(4): 24-27, 1979. Cooper M. J., et al. Transcendental Meditation in the management of hypercholesterolemia; Harefuah, Journal of the Israel Medical Association 95(1): 1-2, 1978. Cooper M. J. and Aygen M. M. Effect of Transcendental Meditation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure.
2. Archives of Internal Medicine 2006; 166:1218-1224. Maura Paul-Labrador, MPH; Donna Polk, MD, MPH; James H. Dwyer, PhD†; Ivan Velasquez, MD; Sanford Nidich, PhD; Maxwell Rainforth, PhD; Robert Schneider, MD; C. Noel Bairey Merz, M. D. Effects of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation on Components of the Metabolic Syndrome in Subjects With Coronary Heart Disease.
3. American Journal of Hypertension 21 (3): 310-6, 2008. Anderson J.W., et al. Blood pressure response to Transcendental Meditation: a meta-analysis.
4. American Journal of Cardiology 95:1060-1064, 2005. Schneider R.H., et al. Long-term effects of stress reduction on mortality in persons ≥ 55 years of age with systemic hypertension.
Writer: Sam Katz has been teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique for the past 35 years. He and his wife Melody are directors of the TM Center in Westchester, New York.