Stress damages the heart

Psychological stress has been shown to increase activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. This increased activation releases adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, which lead to faster heart rate, increased cardiac output, and narrower arteries.

These changes, in turn, create increased blood pressure. Activation of these systems also accelerates the progress of atherosclerosis and can lead to acute plaque rupture, which results in ischemia of the heart (angina) and coronary heart disease and stroke.

TM promotes a healthy heart

The twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique reduces activation of the sympathetic nervous system—which, in turn, dilates the blood vessels and reduces stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, and provides stress relief. Published research confirms that TM:

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces atherosclerosis
  • Reduces constriction of blood vessels
  • Reduces thickening of coronary arteries
  • Reduces use of antihypertensive medication
  • Reduces mortality rates

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"This technique... has been shown by medical research to have a positive effect on the brain heart connection"

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"TM is the only meditation shown to lower blood pressure."

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Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure

Summary of Policy Statement Issued by the American Heart Association
22-Apr-2013

A new report from the American Heart Association published on 22 April 2013 concluded that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique lowers blood pressure and recommends that the TM technique may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension.

The purpose of the report, entitled "Beyond Medications and Diet Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association," is to inform physicians which alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure (BP) have been shown by research to be effective.

After considering meta-analyses and the latest clinical trials on different types of meditation, the report stated that while the Transcendental Meditation technique is recommended to lower BP, there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend other meditation or relaxation techniques.

The AHA's recent scientific statement reports:
"Because of many negative studies or mixed results and a paucity of available trials, all other meditation techniques (including MBSR) received a ‘Class III, no benefit, Level of Evidence C' recommendation. Thus, other meditation techniques are not recommended in clinical practice to lower BP at this time."

"This is an important breakthrough in the evolution of medical practice, since it is the first time that the Transcendental Meditation technique has been recognised and recommended for consideration by a national medical organisation that provides professional practice guidelines to physicians, health care payers, and policymakers," said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention who has been the principal investigator for several research studies on the Transcendental Meditation technique and cardiovascular disease. "This type of guideline statement has been what health insurance companies have been requesting for many years."