Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Can Meditation Help Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke Risk?

Hypertension, or what is more commonly known as high blood pressure, is definitely a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Therefore, when one is diagnosed with hypertension, his or her doctor will prescribe hypertensive medication for reduction of blood pressure.

Besides drugs, there are also other ways such as diet and exercise can help reduce blood pressure. In fact, a study, which was carried out by researchers from the University of Kentucky in Lexington and published in the American Journal of Hypertension, reported that practicing a particular type of meditation twice a day could significantly reduce blood pressure.

The findings also indicated that the blood pressure reductions associated with regular practice of transcendental meditation (TM) would actually translate to a 12 to15 percent reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular causes and a 15 to 20 percent lower risk of stroke.

Besides TM, there are a number of different types of meditation and relaxation techniques. However, TM is unique in a way that it can bring the practitioner into a quiet zone that acts as some kind of sanctuary for a person, refreshing them and reducing stress.

In TM, a person sits in a comfortable chair for 20 minutes twice a day and attempts to quiet the mind by focusing on a mantra. It is simple but training is required for one to get into it.

In order to understand better the real benefits of practicing TM for people with high blood pressure, the researchers examined 9 trials that compared blood pressure changes in a group of patients practicing TM versus a so-called 'control' group. As some previous research on TM has been criticized as being biased and of poor quality, they analyzed the findings of only 3 clinical trials that they rated as being high quality.

Their analysis showed that TM reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by 4.7 points and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 3.2 points. Sustained blood pressure reductions of such magnitude, according to the researchers, could significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.


  1. Wow! This is great news. This is a medicine that doesn't cost a dime. Then, everyone with hypertension should take some time off to meditate. Also, meditation is good for the mind.
    Thanks for posting this!

  2. Really, hypertension has been an issue these days of recession, especially to the corporate workers. I am 32 years boy working in a multinational company. In these times of recession, company was thrusting a lot amount of work on us. It some times make me helpless, than getting over timed. And because of such a constant pressure since 4-5 months, a lot of changes (both physically and mentally) had occurred. I was loosing weight like hell. Also, sometimes I became too harsh on my family, which was one of the primary concerns to me. Also, I was feeling something wrong near my chest. My heart beats remained constantly high throughout my working hours due to high work pressure, and fear of deadlines. This makes me nervous all the time. And because of this, I was not able to concentrate fully on my work. So, this was harming all the way round. This stress is killing me everyday. And I was in no condition to leave the job. And all above this, I was not able to keep myself physically fit, which in my case may lead to loosing away the job. I took many leaves that month due to my unfit health. I was really in a very pathetic situation. And to my surprise, I came to know that many of my colleagues were facing the same problem, as the work load and stress level was diminishing everyone’s health. That became a major issue after few months. The overall performance was deteriorating. The issue was brought in the meeting of board of directors. They decided to have a corporate wellness program which would take care of the employee’s health at the corporate office itself. This decision really went up to the mark. The therapist and physicians used to take care of the minor corporate health issues. And after a week or so, the result was astonishing. The employee efficiency not only got back to normal, but boosted up by 3%. And after a quarter, it was found that the overall expense for initiating the wellness program was far less the corporate loss due to low employee efficiency. Elite health corporate wellness program was a boon to the company. As also , our wellness program consisted of eConsultation, which allows us to be in contact 24/7 with the experts to discuss regarding the health issues. And not only our company, were many others profited by such corporate or workplace wellness program.