Ask the Doctors, Specialists answer your questions about the Transcendental Meditation program and health

Ask the Doctors

Answering questions about the Transcendental Meditation program and health

Psychosomatic Disease 27 May 2008
The Transcendental Meditation Technique and Psychosomatic Disease by Dr. Schneider

Dr. Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.B.M.R., is an NIH-funded medical researcher and author of Total Heart Health: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health (Basic Health Publications, 2006). Here he answers questions on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.

Q: Is heart disease a psychosomatic illness? It seems that because the Transcendental Meditation program helps reduce stress, it would lower the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Schneider: That’s an interesting question. Research over the past 50 years has shown that cardiovascular disease and much other acute and chronic disease have a mind-body component, or a stress-related component. Research has also shown that practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique show lower rates of cardiovascular disease and a broad ranger of other conditions as indicated by hospitalization rates.


The study illustrated by the chart above, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, involved several thousand Transcendental Meditation program participants as well as several hundred thousand control individuals who were matched for similar characteristics. The Transcendental Meditation practitioners, shown in the green bar, had 87% lower rates of heart disease. They also had lower rates of tumors or cancerous diseases, lower rates of neurological diseases, lower rates of psychiatric disorders and many other conditions.

This research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation technique has a holistic effect on enlivening the body’s own self-repair healing mechanisms, and thus has a diverse, broad-ranging effect on preventing and treating a wide range of conditions through the mind-body effect. This holistic approach is not only healthier for the individuals who want to be free of diseases for themselves and their family, but is relevant for health-care costs, because, as everyone is aware, health-care costs are soaring in America today. And the research on the Transcendental Meditation program has shown reductions in in-patient health-care costs, as well as reductions in out-patient health-care costs, both associated with lower rates of diseases due to practice of the Transcendental Meditation program.

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