National Institutes of Health spotlights TM research

by Linda Mainquist on June 17, 2010

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A recent study found daily Transcendental Meditation  practice helps young adults decrease psychological stress and increase coping ability, and for a group of students at high risk for developing hypertension, these changes also were associated with decreases in blood pressure.

The study was conducted at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. and involved hundreds of meditating university undergraduate and graduate students. The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

The results of the study are now being highlighted on the research page of the official website of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. See study here.

Those of us who work at universities know that a huge number of students are experiencing more academic, financial, and social stress than ever before, and this pressure frequently leads to serious problems. This experience is borne out by a growing body of research documenting rising stress among college students.

A study conducted at Kansas State University, which included 13,000 students, found that over the 13-year period of time, the percentage of students with depression rose from 21 percent to 41 percent. The percentage of suicidal students rose from 5 to 9 percent, and students with stress and anxiety problems rose from 36 to 62 percent.

See the video below where Student Josh Goulding speaks about TM and student life.

My work in counseling psychology makes me especially concerned about the counterproductive ways that today’s young adults are dealing with this these problems. Studies indicate that 44% of college students are binge drinkers, 10 million students are taking antidepressant medication, student counseling centers are overwhelmed by the rising number of students reporting anxiety disorders, and suicide has risen to be the 3rd leading cause of death among teens.

Can the TM program really help? I think American University’s study provides solid evidence it can.

By the way, the meditating students in this study at AU were also asked to summarize their subjective experiences after a semester of TM practice. Here’s a sample:

Anne-Barton“I’m just as busy as I was last semester, but since I have been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did then. It’s easier to stay organized. I’m more efficient, staying on top of things—both in the big picture and keeping track of the details. I am much happier and freer to take on more things. Also when I make mistakes I’m better able to deal with them practically and emotionally, simply taking corrective steps without beating myself up. My relationships with others are better because my relationship with myself is better.”
—Anne Barton-Veenkant, Georgetown University

You can read some of the other experiences these university students had by clicking benefits of the Transcendental Meditation Program.

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Related posts:

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  3. Heart Health Webinar: The Benefits of TM Practice in Promoting Cardiovascular Health
  4. New Research Finds TM Helps Ease School Stress
  5. Struggling students find TM improves academic achievement: New research
  • http://www.a2zyoga.com/blog Katherine Roberts

    Thanks for letting me know about Transcendental Meditation . Yes students suicide cases and the problems which makes them take away their own lives is matter of concern for all of us.
    According to me yoga is the best way to heal any kind of psychological or physical problem. Students should be encouraged to practice it daily .

    • Linda Mainquist

      Thanks, Katherine. I couldn’t agree more. In many of our schools with TM-Quiet Time programs, students are offered training in simple yoga asanas which they do before their practice of TM. It’s wonderful to have a system for mind-body integration in the school systems where often exercise is usually only in the form of competitive sports. In Consciousness Based Education, such as at Maharishi University of Management (http://www.mum.edu/ ), where students both study and experience the field of consciousness, yoga is an integral part of the curriculum. This is our ideal for education—the integration of all aspects of life—environment, community, body, mind, heart and spirit.

  • http://blogboogie.com/ Psychicjim

    It is great to see meditation being shown to young people. The youth are our future after all. The stress study is interesting.

    I would like to see a study on school enhancement by students in the areas of improved memory, better left brain and right brain skills, and increased lifestyle harmony thanks to meditation. There is probably a study on this already, although I do not know about it. I believe it would make a good blog post, especially as far as students are concerned.

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