Transcendental Meditation technique:

12 Scientific Research Findings 
That Distinguish the TM Program

The diverse forms of meditation available engage the mind in different ways and naturally have different effects on mind and body—as the independent scientific research clearly shows. Because people often ask how the TM technique differs from other meditation, relaxation and wellness practices, the following summary of research is provided, including randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses comparing various techniques. This is a small sampling of research on the TM technique's benefits for mind, body and behavior—validated by 350 peer-reviewed studies.

1. RELAXATION: The TM technique is the only mind-body practice shown by scientific research to consistently provide a state of rest significantly deeper than ordinary, eyes-closed relaxation. 

Reference: American Psychologist [42] 879-81, 1989
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-424, 1992
The Journal of Mind and Behavior 10(4):307-334, 1989

2. ANXIETY: A meta-analysis of 146 independent studies on a variety of meditation and relaxation practices—conducted at Stanford University—found the TM technique significantly more effective at reducing stress and anxiety than other practices. 

Reference: Journal of Clinical Psychology [45] 957-974, 1989

3. PHYSIOLOGICAL CALMNESS: Produces more relaxed physiological functioning outside of meditation—throughout the day—compared to other techniques researched.

Reference: American Psychologist [42] 879-81, 1987

4. BLOOD PRESSURE: The Transcendental Meditation technique produces a statistically significant reduction in high blood pressure that has not been found to result from other forms of meditation, relaxation, biofeedback or stress management.

Reference: Current Hypertension Reports 9 (6): 520-528, 2007
American Journal of Hypertension 21(3): 310-316, 2008
Hypertension 26: 820–827, 1995

5. INTELLIGENCE: Randomized controlled research has found the TM technique to holistically improve mental performance—measured by increased IQ, creativity, working memory, practical intelligence, comprehension, and focus. 

Reference: Intelligence 29: 419-440, 2001
International Journal of Neuroscience 13: 211–217, 1981; 15: 151–157, 1981
Personality and Individual Differences 12: 1105–1116, 1991

6. SELF-ACTUALIZATION: Improves measures of self-actualization more than other meditation and relaxation techniques studied.

Reference: Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (6) 189–247, 1991

7. ADDICTION: Markedly reduces drug, cigarette and alcohol use more than other approaches—including conventional treatments—with more lasting effects.

Reference: American Journal of Health Promotion, 12 [5]:297-298, 1998
Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 11,13-88, 1994

8. FOURTH STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: The TM technique is the only meditation practice found to consistently produce a distinct, major fourth state of consciousness unlike waking, dreaming or sleep.

References: International Journal of Neuroscience 100, 77-89, 2000
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-424, 1992
The Journal of Mind and Behavior 10(4):307-334, 1989
American Psychologist 42 : 879–881, 1987
American Journal of Psychology 221: 795–799, 1971
Science 167: 1751–1754, 1970

9. BRAIN FUNCTION: Only the TM technique has been found to consistently produce widespread alpha brain wave coherence, indicating more efficient and integrated bran function.

References: Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 302-318, 1999
International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147–151, 1981
Cognitive Processing, 11:1, 2010

10. REDUCED MEDICAL EXPENSES: The Transcendental Meditation technique is the only meditation practice shown by research to significantly reduce hospitalization, doctor visits and medical expenses, including 87% less hospitalization for heart disease.

Reference: Psychosomatic Medicine 49: 493–507, 1987
American Journal of Managed Care 3(1):135-144, 1997
American Journal of Health Promotion 10(3):208-216, 1996

11. LONGEVITY: The Transcendental Meditation program has been shown to promote longevity, resulting in a younger biological age—an effect not seen in research on other mind-body practices.

Reference: International Journal of Neuroscience 16: 53–58, 1982
Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1):201-216, 2005
American Journal of Cardiology 95(9):1060-1064, 2005

12. REDUCED MORTALITY, HEART ATTACK, AND STROKE: Clinical trails funded by the NIH found that practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique reduced the chance of heart attack and stroke by 50% and resulted in longer life spans, compared to controls.

Reference: Archives of Internal Medicine 166: 1218-1224, 2006
  Circulation 120: S461, 2009

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