The new meta-analysis conducted by researchers at the NIH-funded Institute of Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine reviewed randomised, controlled trials of all stress reduction and relaxation methods in participants with high blood pressure that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Blood pressure changes for the Transcendental Meditation technique included average reductions of 5.0 points on systolic blood pressure and 2.8 on diastolic blood pressure, which were statistically significant, according to the review. Other stress reduction programs like relaxation, meditation, biofeedback or stress management did not show significant changes in blood pressure.

“The magnitude of the changes in blood pressure with the Transcendental Meditation technique are at least as great as the changes found with major changes in diet or exercise that doctors often recommend,” said James Anderson, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky and co-author of the new meta-analysis. “Yet the Transcendental Meditation technique does not require changes in lifestyle.

Thus many patients with mild hypertension or prehypertension may be able to avoid the need to take blood pressure medications - all of which have adverse side effects. Individuals with more severe forms of hypertension may be able to reduce the number or dosages of their BP medications under the guidance of their doctor.”

Anderson added that long-term changes in blood pressure of this magnitude are associated with at least a 15 percent reduction in rates of heart attack and stroke. “This is important to everyone because cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide,” Anderson said.; Source: University of Kentucky