Newswise — Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for controlling high blood pressure with the added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs, according to a new meta-analysis conducted at the University of Kentucky. The study appears in the March issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.
The meta-analysis evaluated nine randomized, controlled trials using Transcendental Meditation as a primary intervention for hypertensive patients. The practice of Transcendental Meditation was associated with approximate reductions of 4.7 mm systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm diastolic blood pressure.
The study's lead author, Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said that blood pressure reductions of this magnitude would be expected to be accompanied by significant reductions in risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease—without drug side effects.
Anderson's most recent findings reinforce an earlier study that found Transcendental Meditation produces a statistically significant reduction in high blood pressure that was not found with other forms of relaxation, meditation, biofeedback or stress management.
"Adding Transcendental Medication is about equivalent to adding a second antihypertension agent to one's current regimen only safer and less troublesome," Anderson said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 out of 3 American adults have high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases one's chances of developing heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease.