Much like yoga, tai-chi, and other relaxation activities, you may consider Transcendental Meditation a heart disease prevention and management strategy.
What It Will Do For You
Similar to standard meditation methods, Transcendental Meditation can help you prevent heart disease by lowering your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
It can also help you manage a current heart condition and symptoms such as atherosclerosis.
It works well to support the health of people who choose to focus on better dietary choices, exercise, and other complementary treatments. And, since all health starts with prevention, TM offers an effective way to manage risk factors and prevent heart disease.
- You can learn the practice of Transcendental Meditation from a certified instructor and it will require you to commit to 2 short 20-minute sessions per day.
Another plus is that once it’s learned, it’s a tool for better living all around, and it can be practiced anywhere, in any setting.
Help To Prevent Atherosclerosis
People who practice transcendental meditation experience lower instances of atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries associated with heart disease.
- This is because the thickness of the carotid artery shrinks with the relaxation. The importance of this is that it prevents or lessens this major indicator of heart disease risk.
Other conditions strongly influenced by and associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease (and treated effectively by TM ) include:
➡ High blood pressure (hypertension)
➡ Insulin resistance
➡ Tobacco use
- Transcendental Meditation effectively treats each of these.
High Blood Pressure: TM has been shown to lower both the systolic (top number) and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).
➡ This is significant because the systolic pressure measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats and is an indicator of a person’s likelihood of a stroke.
➡ The second number, called the diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
- This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen. So it’s easy to understand your physician’s insistence on having you manage your blood pressure by all possible means.
Transcendental Meditation has also been shown to lower insulin resistance, which influences the development of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and diabetes.
- When you relax, when your body relaxes, when your mind is peaceful, every cell in your body responds.
This is not “hocus pocus” or some “New Age/Hippie trend. This is alternative medicine, and it works.
While our genetics, behaviors, dietary choices, weight management and levels of physical activity, significantly impact the probability of developing heart disease, Transcendental Meditation has proven effective even as a sole form of treatment.
According to James Krag, M.D., a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, risk factors for heart disease develop within the body’s metabolic systems.
- Our state of mind and the physical markers, which accompany various emotional states, impact metabolism.
For instance: The way we eat a meal when we’re depressed, angry or agitated vastly affects the way our bodies metabolize the food. That’s a lot different than how it works when we’re happy, calm and enjoying a meal.
The state of calm produced by TM is a gift we can carry with us, allowing for healthier metabolism, not just of food, but for our reactions to anything we encounter in our world.
Studies have shown TM’s effectiveness for:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Decreasing psychological stress factors
- Reducing the risk of mortality
- Decreasing the risk of heart attacks
- Reducing the risk of strokes in heart disease patients
This makes the use of TM both as a preventive treatment and as a great complementary therapy for cardiovascular disease patients.
In addition to its association with a decrease in blood pressure, TM has demonstrated the ability to improve how our nervous system works, and even more important, the endocrine system, which regulates how the nervous system works.
And, these benefits happen through the practice of transcendental meditation alone.
➡ The other recommended methods, a healthy diet, exercise, and supplementation, to manage risk factors for heart disease, work well together with the practice of TM, but they are not required in order to benefit from the practice itself.
Current studies support TM’s effectiveness as a complementary treatment for heart disease and prevention.
20 minutes, twice a day…
Think about it in relationship to significantly decreasing your risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, lowering your blood pressure, helping you manage stress, lowering insulin resistance, lowering high cholesterol…All while improving your overall health and wellbeing.