Not Just for Science Enthusiasts: Latest Research Findings on Transcendental Meditation

It always seems a bit funny when someone says they “believe” that the TM technique works. It definitely does “work,” but it’s far from a matter of belief— its benefits have been shown over and over again by peer-reviewed research studies published in highly reputable domestic and international scientific journals.

In the same way as attending to the root of a tree affects the health of every aspect of the tree—the branches, leaves, bark, flowers and fruit—the TM technique affects us at the fundamental levels of the function of the mind and body, creating a broad range of benefits. In the last sixty years, more than 400 research studies have confirmed the reports of meditators who say TM has given them a better quality of life. 

So, for those interested in science and scientific conclusions, here are some research findings published during the last year:

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Decreased Stress: Reduced Cortisol Waking Response (CAR)

Reference. Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie , Shen Chong, Li , Samikoglu, Ali , Thai, Michelle , Amatya, Palistha , Cullen, Kathryn R. , & Lim, Kelvin O. . (2019). Transcendental Meditation and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis functioning: A pilot, randomized controlled trial with young adults. Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress.

A randomized controlled study of 27 college students found four weeks of TM practice significantly reduced the level of the major stress hormone cortisol when waking up from a night’s sleep compared to controls, indicating reduced stress.


“The Transcendental Meditation technique opens our awareness to an inner reservoir of serenity—we become calm, centered and more at ease—even in the midst of a hectic demanding day. TM reduces stress and expands awareness so we become more alert to the needs of others as well as ourselves. It quiets the mind so we can listen better. It reduces anxiety and lets the heart flow so that we can be more generous and nurturing…. To create the most happy harmonious union with her family, friends, and associates, a woman must draw from the infinite source of life—the unified field of infinite silent potential—at the deepest level of her mind.” 

Judith Pomerantz
Psychotherapist, Massachusetts

“I love nursing, but there are so many layers of stress in taking care of the COVID-19 patients, as well as with worrying about whether I will personally catch the virus or bring it home to my family. TM has always been an anchor and a great support to me—even more so during this challenge. I am convinced that TM has made me into ‘the best me,’ and it has given me great strength and resilience in these times of despair.”

Tanya Malcolm
RN, Maryland

Increased brain regional connectivity at rest is correlated with reductions in anxiety and perceived stress after three months of TM practice

Brain and Cognition, Volume 139, 139 (March 2020). doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2020.105517


“Groups with elevated anxiety received significant relief from TM, and that reduction occurred rapidly in the first few weeks of practice.”

Dr. David Orme-Johnson
Research consultant, Florida

“I don’t worry as much, and the anxiety level has gone down, and that’s a huge benefit for me because I’ve been able to deal with this problem without any medication. And it’s TM that definitely helped me, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Susan Kane
TM meditator, Canada

“Transcendental Meditation is the single best thing I have ever done to improve my quality of life. Especially now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am not experiencing the angst that I see others experiencing around me.”

Julie Yanitor
RN, BSN, California

Improved Heart Health

Enhanced Cardiac Rehabilitation through TM

Reference. Bokhari, S., Schneider, R., Salerno, J. , Rainforth, M. , Gaylord-King, C., & Nidich, S. (2019 ). Effects of cardiac rehabilitation with and without meditation on myocardial blood flow using quantitative positron emission tomography: A pilot study. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, Published online Sept 16, 1-12. 


“As a Board-Certified Cardiologist and Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine in the Division of Evidence-Based Medicine, I have reviewed and statistically analyzed the literature available on Transcendental Meditation which, I find, shows efficacy as both a preventive as well as treatment methodology for coronary heart disease. Transcendental Meditation is associated with statistically significant decreased hypertension and atherosclerosis, clinical improvements in patients with established heart disease, decreased hospitalization rates, and improvements in other risk factors including reduced stress and even decreased smoking and cholesterol.”

Abraham Bornstein
MD, FACC, Iowa

Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education

Reference: Schneider, R. H., Myers, H. F., Marwaha, K., Rainforth, M. A., Salerno, J W., Nidich, S.I., . . . Norris, K. C. (2019). Stress Reduction in the Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education in Hypertensive African Americans. Ethnicity & Disease, 29(4), 577 – 586.


“I believe TM should be offered to all patients who are seeing a cardiologist, or even to those who are trying to prevent ever developing heart disease or strokes.”

Suzanne Steinbaum
MD, Fellow American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, NY Times Super Doctor, National Spokesperson of Go Red for Women

Reduction of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Decreased PTSD Symptoms in South-African College Students

Reference: Bandy, C. L., Dillbeck, M. C., Sezibera, Vincent, Taljaard, L., Wilks, M., Shapiro, D., & de Reuck, J. (2019). Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students using Transcendental Meditation Practice. Psychological Reports, February, 1-16. doi: 10.1177/0033294119828036.


“Working with a cohort of young people with symptoms of PTSD and depression, researchers found that practicing transcendental meditation can help reduce or even reverse these symptoms… At the end of the study, most of the participants from the transcendental meditation group had PCL-C scores below 34, which is the threshold for a PTSD diagnosis, indicating that their symptoms had altogether receded.”

Medical News Today

Reduced Symptoms of PTSD in Combat Veterans

Orme-Johnson, D. W., Barnes, V. A., Rees, B., & Tobin, J. (2020, April 9). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and the Transcendental Meditation technique on PTSD. PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews: National Institute of Health Research, PROSPERO 2019 CRD42019148498 Retrieved from 


“A year ago this month, I was suicidal. I felt so low that I wanted to just not be here. Transcendental Meditation saved my life…. Transcendental Meditation is completely the opposite of trauma. As soon as I started, something shifted. I didn’t have to rehash traumatic experiences.”

Tara Wise

Social and Emotional Competency

Social and emotional competence is a child’s ability to interact in a positive way with others, communicate feelings positively and regulate behavior.

Increased Socio-Emotional Competencies in Sixth-Grade Students: A Matched Controlled Study

Reference: Valosek, Laurent, Nidich, Sanford, Wendt, Staci, Grant, Janie, & Nidich, Randi. (2019). Effect of meditation on socio-emotional learning in middle school students. Education, 139(3),111-119.


“A new randomized control study published in The Permanente Journal involved 96 central office staff at the San Francisco Unified School District. The study found that during a four-month period, those practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique experienced significant improvements in emotional intelligence and perceived stress, as compared with controls.” 

EurekAlert! Release

“Over the years I have grown and matured. When I started TM, I was really shy. Now I am confident. I have to be confident to be a leader because I need to help the little kids and be a good role model to them.”

High School student

Scientific knowledge allows us to develop, explore and verify technologies, to solve practical problems, and to make informed decisions — both individually and collectively—as to what is of value to the evolution of individuals and society as a whole. Published research has given a modern thumbs-up to women who want to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique. 

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