Scientific Research on Transcendental Meditation: Recent Studies

Scientific Research: Recent Studies


At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity through Transcendental MeditationThis newly completed study found that 106 at-risk adolescents in three high schools reduced their levels of stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and emotional problems when practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for four months at school, as compared with controls.

Robert Colbert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut

Annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008


Transcendental Meditation produces positive effects on health, brain functioning, and cognitive development in studentsPreliminary results from this new two-year study of 250 college students at American University in Washington, D.C., found that the TM program produced beneficial effects for health, brain functioning, and cognitive development compared to controls.

David Haaga, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the James J. Gray Psychotherapy Training Clinic, American University (In press)


Transcendental Meditation reduces hypertension, obesity, and diabetes in patients with coronary heart disease

This study of 103 people with coronary heart disease found that individuals practicing Transcendental Meditation for four months had significantly lower blood pressure; improved blood glucose and insulin levels (which signify reduced insulin resistance); and more stable functioning of the autonomic nervous system compared to controls.

C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., Director of the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Professor of Medicine at the UCLA Medical School

American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2006


Reduced high blood pressure among high school students This eight-month study of 156 hypertensive African American high school students found that the Transcendental Meditation program reduced high blood pressure among the meditating students as compared with little or no change in the control group. (Twenty percent of African American teenagers suffer from high blood pressure.)

Vernon Barnes, Ph.D., physiologist and research scientist, Georgia Prevention Institute, Medical College of Georgia

American Journal of Hypertension, April 2004


Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and increases happiness among middle school students Two studies on 60 sixth-graders at two middle schools found the practice of Transcendental Meditation over four months positively affected emotional development in early adolescent children in a school setting. Meditating students also had significantly higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence.

Rita Benn, Ph.D., Director of Education, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Research Center, University of Michigan

National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, April 2003


Transcendental Meditation reduces the brain’s reaction to stress In this pilot study, 12 subjects practicing Transcendental Meditation for 30 years showed a 40–50% lower brain response to stress and pain compared to 12 healthy controls. Further, when the controls then learned and practiced Transcendental Meditation for five months, their brain responses to stress and pain also decreased by a comparable 40–50%.

David Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., study director, Neuroimaging Laboratory, University of California at Irvine

NeuroReport, August 2006

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