|Congestive Heart Failure||10 Jun 2008|
|The Transcendental Meditation Technique and Congestive Heart Failure 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: Can heart disease be averted? For instance, is it possible to change the course of a serious condition such as congestive heart failure?
Dr. Schneider: Congestive heart failure, or just heart failure, is the end result of many forms of heart disease, such as coronary heart disease or hypertensive heart disease. It kills 300,000 people a year in the United States and carries a 50% mortality rate over five years’ time.
It is very difficult to treat with medicinal drugs or even surgical intervention. However, research on the Transcendental Meditation technique, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, has demonstrated that individuals who are taking conventional treatments for heart failure, and who have added twenty minutes twice a day of Transcendental Meditation practice to their routine, have significant improvements in measures of heart failure as indicated by greater functional capacity in the six-minute walk test compared to health education controls.
Q: What about mental health? Does the Transcendental Meditation program also help relieve depression in heart patients?
Dr. Schneider: It’s interesting that you should ask. In addition to improvements in physical capacity of heart functioning, the same individuals showed improvement in quality of life and mental health as shown by a clinically significant reduction in depression in the Transcendental Meditation practitioners as compared to controls.
This shows that the addition of an effective mind-body intervention program to usual medical treatment program results in significant improvements in both physical and mental health in patients with heart failure. This is a remarkable medical discovery and very easy to implement on a widespread basis.