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Medicineworld.org: Transcendental meditation for college students

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Transcendental meditation for college students




The Transcendental Meditation technique appears to be an effective method to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and anger among at-risk college students, as per a newly released study to be reported in the American Journal of Hypertension, December 2009.

"The Transcendental Meditation Program, a widely-used standardized program to reduce stress, showed significant decreases in blood pressure and improved mental health in young adults at risk for hypertension," said David Haaga, PhD, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.



Transcendental meditation for college students

This study was conducted at American University with 298 university students randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or wait-list control over a three-month intervention period. A subgroup of 159 subjects at risk for high blood pressure was analyzed separately. At baseline and after three months, blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability were assessed.

For the students at risk for developing hypertension, significant improvements were observed in blood pressure, psychological distress and coping. In comparison to the control group, students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program showed reductions of 6.3 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 4.0 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. These reductions are linked to a 52% lower risk for development of high blood pressure in later years.

The findings are timely. Today, an estimated 18 million students are dealing with mental health issues on college campuses. Statistics from colleges nationwide indicate there has been a 50% increase in the diagnosis of depression, and more than twice as a number of students are on psychiatric medications as a decade ago. As per recent national surveys of campus therapists, more students than ever are seeking psychiatric help on college campuses all across the United States.

"This is the first randomized controlled study to show in young adults at risk for high blood pressure reductions in blood pressure that were linked to changes in psychological distress and coping," said Sanford Nidich, EdD, main author and senior researcher at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management. "Prior research has shown that psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and anger contribute to the development of high blood pressure in young adults," said Dr. Nidich.

College students are especially prone to psychological distress caused by interpersonal and social problems, pressures to succeed academically, financial strains, and uncertain futures. For the entire sample in this study, there was a significant improvement in students' mental health.

"High blood pressure is a common risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Yet, decades of research show that hypertension begins in youth. This well-controlled clinical trial observed that blood pressure can be effectively lowered in students with a stress-reducing intervention. This has major implications for the prevention of hypertension, heart attacks and strokes in adulthood," said Robert Schneider MD, FACC, specialist in clinical hypertension, Director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and co-author of study.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
The Transcendental Meditation technique appears to be an effective method to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and anger among at-risk college students, as per a newly released study to be reported in the American Journal of Hypertension, December 2009. "The Transcendental Meditation Program, a widely-used standardized program to reduce stress, showed significant decreases in blood pressure and improved mental health in young adults at risk for hypertension," said David Haaga, PhD, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.

Medicineworld.org: Transcendental meditation for college students

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