Meditation May Help With Heart Disease

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Apr 01, 2013

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Heart disease patients improve their odds. With growing research supporting the long-term health benefits of meditation, doctors may soon be prescribing the practice as a means of stress reduction for patients with heart disease.

African Americans with heart disease who committed to a transcendental meditation practice reduced their risk of death, heart attack or stroke by 48% over more than a 5-year period compared with patients who received usual care. Lead study author Robert Schneider, MD, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa, said in a press release, “It appears that transcendental meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy—to repair and maintain itself.”

Researchers randomly assigned 201 men and women to either transcendental meditation or a heart-health education class. Data analysis showed that those who practiced meditation not only had fewer adverse heart events but also experienced lower blood pressure and less anger than those in the health education group. Investigators evaluated participants at the beginning of the study, after 3 months, and every 6 months thereafter for an average follow-up of 5.4 years.

The study appeared in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation: Cardio-vascular Quality and Outcomes (2012; doi: 10.qq61/circoutcomes.112.967406).

Blood pressure levels drop in teens and adults. Transcendental meditation can help both teens and adults reduce blood pressure and other factors related to heart disease, according to a research review published in Current Hypertension Reviews (2012; 8 [3], 227-42). In adolescents at risk for hypertension, the practice lowered blood pressure, reduced cardiovascular reactivity and improved school behavior. In adults with mild or moderate hypertension, consistent use of transcendental meditation resulted in lower blood pressure and less use of antihypertensive drugs.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 4

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...

1 Comment

  • Log In to Comment
  • Donna Grapko

    I did TM for 3 years a long time ago and it was wonderful! However, I researched getting back into it and it is over $1,000 to get back into it, too expensive for my budget.
    Commented Apr 01, 2014

Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

The Reason Your Clients Don't Achieve Their Goals

Lots of people hire personal trainers or join group fitness classes hoping to lose weight. Yet many fail to meet their goals. New research suggests that “progress bias”—overestimatin...

Show More