“This is a form of heart disease where nondrug treatments are relatively understudied,” said Professor Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, first author. “Since the physiology of stress contributes to cardiac enlargement, we hypothesized that managing one’s mind-body connection with Transcendental Meditation might prevent the disease process.”
This randomized controlled trial, published in Ethnicity & Disease, included 85 African Americans with high blood pressure who were randomly assigned to Transcendental Meditation or to a health education control group, in addition to usual medical care.
After six months of practice, repeat testing with echocardiography found that the control group progressed on cardiac enlargement while the Transcendental Meditation group showed prevention of enlargement.
“These results suggest that an effective technique for stress reduction may prevent the progression of left ventricular hypertrophy and thereby help to prevent premature heart disease and cardiac mortality,” said Dr Schneider, Dean of the College of Integrative Medicine at Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa.
The research was conducted in conjunction with Martin Luther King Hospital and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. It formed a portion of the PhD thesis of MIU Professor Komal Marwaha, MD, PhD. Other MIU coauthors included Maxwell Rainforth, John Salerno, Carolyn Gaylord-King, Sanford Nidich, and the late Charles Alexander.
Link to abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/