Transcendental Meditation ™, a widely practiced, stress-reducing meditation technique, significantly decreases the severity of congestive heart failure, according to a first-of-its kind study.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Geriatric Medicine evaluated 23 African American men and women, average age 64, who were recently hospitalized with New York Heart Association class II or III congestive heart failure. Participants were randomized to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or health education in addition to standard medical care.
Changes in heart function were measured with a six-minute walk test and additional measures were evaluated for quality of life, depression and re-hospitalizations. Changes in outcomes from baseline to three and six months after treatment were analyzed. According to Ravishankar Jayadevappa, Ph.D., lead author and Research Assistant Professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, the TM group significantly improved on the six-minute walk test after both three and six months of TM practice compared to the control group.
The TM group also showed improvements in quality of life measurements, depression and had fewer re-hospitalizations. “The results indicate that TM can be effective in improving the functional capacity and quality of life of congestive heart failure patients. These results also suggest long-term improvements in survival in these individuals, “ said Jayadevappa. TM most likely improves heart functioning by reducing sympathetic nervous system activation associated with stress that is known to contribute to the failing heart, according to the authors. The report appears in the Winter 2007 issue of Ethnicity & Disease.
This present finding is consistent with previous research demonstrating that TM reduces factors that contribute to the cause or progression of heart failure, such as high blood pressure, stress, metabolic syndrome, left ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart), and severity of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The American Heart Association estimates congestive heart failure accounts for more than 2.5 million hospital admissions per year in the U.S. For more information about Transcendental Meditation for health and well-being contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.