Help in Recovery from Disease

Doctors throughout the world know that the process of healing occurs spontaneously from within the human body when our lifestyle choices support the body’s own natural healing mechanisms. 

We all know from our experience that the body has powerful intelligence within it. We see examples of this every moment in our lives, from the way we spontaneously cough, sneeze, yawn, perspire, create antibodies, fall asleep and so on and so on. We certainly don’t know how to run our heart or lungs or digestion—the body runs itself in the most profound complex way, minute after minute, day after day, all throughout our life. We grow from embryo to adult in stages that our body’s intelligence designs. So too, the body’s self-healing mechanism is built in. 

Our own body is skilled at manufacturing, as needed, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs and so on; the body prepares the correct dose at the right time for the right organ—all the instructions for self-correcting are hardwired by nature in the physiology.

Deep rest supports the body’s own healing system

One thing every health professional knows about is the power of deep rest. The first thing a physician tells you when you are ill is to get plenty of rest. When resting, our blood pressure drops and our heart is under less stress. During sleep, the body releases hormones that can slow our breathing and relax our muscles. This can reduce inflammation and assist with healing. It takes extra energy to heal as the body makes adjustments and corrects imbalances—and the deeper the rest you can get, the more energy will be available for the process of recovery.

Ordinary rest, such as napping or relaxing or even sleep, is not sufficient in removing deeply rooted stress that accumulates during a lifetime. However, deeply rooted stresses are significantly dissolved during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Psychosomatic disease—illness caused or aggravated by stress—including headaches, abdominal pain, allergies, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases and even cancer—can be positively affected by the deep rest you get during Transcendental Meditation.

This Harvard Medical school study measured level of rest based on oxygen consumption. During the TM practice, the body goes into a state of rest much faster and deeper than the rest that is usually achieved during sleep. This groundbreaking study was published in two of the best-known scientific journals [Science, 1971 and Scientific American, 1971].

The earliest scientific study published on the Transcendental Meditation technique showed that the workload of the body—the metabolic rate—is significantly reduced during the TM practice, indicating a state of deep rest. This remarkable finding was even more significant because it was compared to rest during both sleep and hypnosis, neither of which showed as profound and speedy a drop in metabolism. During the TM technique, the meditator’s mental activity settles down. Because the mind and body are intimately connected, the metabolism drops correspondingly. This deep rest, automatically experienced every time one sits to do the TM technique, dissolves even deeply-rooted stress, thus creating a basis for profound benefits to overall health.

Over 600 peer-reviewed studies confirm that Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a powerful healing modality. Regular practice creates a deep state of rest, helps balance immune function, reduces stress and improves a wide variety of health conditions, all relevant today. I recommend TM to my patients for these reasons, as well as the fact that many have reported to me with amazement and relief, “TM changed my life!”

 – Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf
Women’s Health Specialist, author of A Women’s Best Medicine

Examples of recovery with the TM program

Heart disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting adequate rest promotes better heart health. Many peer-reviewed studies have found that the TM technique decreases blood pressure in hypertensive patients. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 107 published studies on stress reduction and high blood pressure found that TM practice significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, while other methods of meditation and relaxation, biofeedback, stress management and the usual health advice programs did not produce as significant benefits. The effects were comparable to those commonly found with anti-hypertensive medication, but without pharmaceuticals’ potentially adverse side-effects, and medication use was reduced [Current Hypertension Reports, 2007]. 

A second meta-analysis confirmed that TM leads to clinically important sustained reductions in blood pressure, associated with substantially decreased risk of heart attack and stroke, the leading cause of mortality [American Journal of Hypertension, 2008]. A study of adolescents with high-normal blood pressure found those practicing TM over an eight-month period to gain significantly less weight and body mass index (BMI) than the health-education control group [American Journal of Hypertension, 2009]. This evidence is strong enough that the American Heart Association recommends that the Transcendental Meditation program be considered in clinical practice.

Breast cancer

Research studies have supported that the TM technique has a positive impact on quality of life for breast cancer patients, decreasing stress and emotional upset [Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2009]. The study found that women with breast cancer who practiced the TM technique experienced reduced stress and improved mental health and emotional well-being through the course of their illness. 

Emotional and psycho-social stress are known to contribute to the onset and progression of breast cancer and cancer mortality. Evidence from experimental studies suggests that stress hormones may stimulate a tumor’s growth and spread in the body, while Transcendental Meditation has been found to reduce stress hormones [American Psychologist, 1987], and therefore may also help to prevent cancer.

Respiratory disease

A study of data from a major US health insurer showed that both hospital admission and outpatient consultation rates were more than 50% lower for people practicing the TM technique than the norms or for control subjects. Admissions for respiratory disorders were reduced by an outstanding 73%. [Psychosomatic Medicine, 1987].

A few studies have indicated that regular practice of TM can lead to improvements in patients with bronchial asthma, including reduced severity of symptoms, reduced airway resistance and less need for medication. One study found these improvements 21 patients during a 6 month period, concluding that TM is a useful adjunct to treatment [Respiration, 1975]. Other research has indicated fewer upper respiratory tract infections, improvements in chronic bronchitis, and more efficient breathing and respiratory control [Journal of Applied Physiology, 1984].

The takeaway

Data from scientific research and personal testimonials makes the case that you can start to enhance your health, stamina and resilience by learning the TM technique. TM reduces stress and gives the body deep rest, which in turn helps recovery from disease and reduces physiological imbalances and weakness that may lead to disease—there’s every reason to learn now, so don’t wait.

Note: Learning the TM technique is not a substitute for prescribed treatment or medical advice.

Contact a TM teacher in your area to learn more.

About the Author

Amy Ruff, RN BSN, is the education director and director of TM for Nurses nationally in the United States.

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