(NaturalNews) The Medical College of Wisconsin in conjunction with Maharishi University in Iowa funded a study about the effects of transcendental meditation on health. Researchers discovered that over the course of nine years, the group assigned to meditate saw a 47 percent reduction in strokes, heart attacks and deaths.
Two groups of African-Americans were assigned either to meditate or to make certain lifestyle changes. The group told to meditate was instructed to do so twice a day for 20 minutes. The other group was given instruction on traditional methods to reduce the risk of heart disease. After nine years, 20 incidences of stroke, heart attack, or death occurred in the meditation group while 31 incidences occurred in the health education group.
Dr. Robert Schneider, lead author of the study and the director of the Centre for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University, stated that the meditation group experienced an overall reduction in blood pressure as well as a significant reduction in psychological stress. Supporters of transcendental meditation claim that the study proves the long-term positive effects of the practice on those who participate in it.
Researchers noted, however, that among those in the health education group, very few followed the instructions and made any sort of significant changes in their lifestyles. Such lifestyle changes may have proven more effective if group participants would have followed the instructions in the same way as those in the meditation group did. For this reason, the study does not accurately capture the positive benefits of lifestyle changes apart from meditation.
Because transcendental meditation involves spiritual practices that conflict with the beliefs of various other faiths, some may wish to pursue other avenues of achieving better health and preventing the onset of heart disease without violating their convictions.
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Resveratrol, another powerful antioxidant found in the skins of both grapes and blueberries has received a lot of attention recently for its powerful effects in bolstering cardiovascular health. A Harvard Medical School study showed that high doses of resveratrol given to obese mice allowed them to live long, healthy lives despite eating diets high in fat.
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