Research: WALTON and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 123

Abstract

WALTON and colleagues, Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, kwalton@mum.edu, have written about stress, cardiovascular disease and transcendental meditation. Abstract: Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the Western world and a major contributor to total health care costs. Psychosocial stress has been implicated in this, and psychosocial approaches to primary and secondary prevention are gaining research support. This article evaluates one such approach, the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation program, which is systematically taught by qualified teachers throughout the world. Evidence suggests not only that this program can provide benefits in prevention but also that it may reduce cardiovascular and other health care expenses. On the basis of data from the studies available to date, the Transcendental Meditation program may be responsible for reductions of 80% or greater in medical insurance claims and payments to physicians. This article evaluates the implications of research on the Transcendental Meditation program for health care policy and for large-scale clinical implementation of the program. The main steps necessary for wider adoption appear to be: (1) educating health care providers and patients about the nature and expected benefits of the program, and (2) adjustments in public policies at the state and national levels to allow this program to be included in private and public health insurance plans.

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References

Walton KG, Schneider RH, Salerno JW, Nidich SI. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease. Part 3: Clinical and policy implications of research on the transcendental meditation program. Behavioral Medicine 30 (4): 173-183, 2005.

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