Dr. Twyla Hoodah Meditation as Medication for Heart Failure
By Vivian Richardson, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent
Interview with Robert Schneider, M.D.; Ethnicity & Disease
. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Close your eyes, think about nothing, and heal your heart? New evidence reveals Transcendental Meditation may help reduce the severity of congestive heart failure.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania
studied a group of 23 African American heart failure patients and randomly selected half to use the Transcendental Meditation technique
for six months. Study authors report patients in the meditation group had significant improvement on a six-minute walk test compared to the
non-meditation group. Meditators also had fewer rehospitalizations.
Senior author Robert Schneider, M.D., from the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa
, told Ivanhoe heart failure is a major health problem in the United States
. "If we can do something about it where modern medicine can't, that's a major contribution to medicine," Dr. Schneider said.
According to Dr. Schneider, Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural and effortless technique practiced for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, twice a day. "During the technique, a person experiences quieter states of the thinking process until he goes beyond the thinking process, or transcends the thinking process, and just experiences a quiet, silent
inner state," he said.
This quiet state of mind is called "restful alertness." "It's a physiological state that allows the body to, in this state of profound rest, to heal itself," Dr. Schneider said.
Study authors write Transcendental Meditation can be effective in improving the quality of life and functional capacity of African American patients with congestive heart failure. Researchers are planning a large, multicenter trial with long-term follow-up to further explore the effects of meditation on heart failure.