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Connecting Mind and Body: Transcendental Meditation

TM can help you to avoid distracting thoughts and promote a state of relaxed awareness. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived TM from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. He brought the technique to the U.S. in the 1960s.

The TM technique is not a religion or philosophy and involves no change in lifestyle. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, requiring no special skills. Over 5 million people worldwide have learned the technique — 1.5 million in the U.S. alone—including people from all backgrounds, cultures, races, and religions.

Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program has shown that the daily experience of this state of restful alertness leads to increased creativity, improved learning ability, higher IQ, better moral reasoning, more efficient brain functioning and a wide array of health benefits—ranging from normalized blood pressure, reduced need for doctor visits, to a younger biological age. Specific health effects related to the cardiovascular health reported in the research show reduced metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance and reduced carotid atherosclerosis.

Learning and Practicing Transcendental Meditation

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple, natural, effortless process typically practiced 15 – 20 minutes twice a day. While meditating, the person practicing TM sits in a comfortable position with eyes closed, breathing deeply. Relaxing music may be played.  

According to supporters of TM, when meditating, the ordinary thinking process is “transcended.” It’s replaced by a state of pure consciousness. In this state, the meditator achieves perfect stillness, rest, stability, order, and a complete absence of mental boundaries.
Some studies have found that regular meditation can reduce chronic pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and the use of health care services.

Meditation, both TM and other forms, is generally safe for healthy people, and may improve quality of life. But experts agree that meditation shouldn't be used as a single treatment for any particular health condition, or instead of conventional medical care.

Free introductory lectures on TM are held at the South Asian Heart Center, located on the El Camino Hospital campus, on a monthly basis. The schedule is available from the South Asian Heart Center staff. Please call 650-940-7242 to learn more. Learn more about Transcendental Meditation at www.TM.org.


This article first appeared in the December 2015 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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