CHICAGO — Heart disease patients who practiced meditation for four months showed slight improvements in blood pressure and insulin levels, a small, government-funded study found. Patients who learned Transcendental Meditation did better on those measures than patients who spent the same amount of time on lectures, discussions and homework assignments about the effects of stress, diet and exercise on the heart. The 103 heart patients participating in the study received regular medical care, including drugs for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Adding meditation had ‘a strong enough effect that we could show a benefit over traditional health care, and traditional health care is pretty good now,’ said study co-author Dr. Noel Bairey Merz of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. ‘I think it’s a testimony to this intervention that we could see anything.’ Questions about potential bias Some of the researchers involved are affiliated with the organization that teaches Transcendental Meditation around the world, raising questions about potential bias, said Jim Lane of Duke University School of Medicine, who had no part in the study. The research team included doctors from the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. The school was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who […]

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