Two new studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation may help reduce depression.

The studies were presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Seattle, Washington on 9 April.

African Americans and Native Hawaiians of 55 years and older (groups that have a higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease) where studied at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and University of Hawaii in Kohala. In both studies, the participants were randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation group or to a health education control group. Both groups were assessed with a standard test for depression

 – the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) inventory – over 9-12 months.

Reduced Depressive Symptoms chartReduced Depressive Symptoms chart

“Clinically meaningful reductions in depressive symptoms were associated with practice of the Transcendental Meditation program,” said Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author and senior researcher at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management. “The findings of these studies have important implications for improving mental health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,” said Dr. Nidich.

Participants in both studies who practiced the Transcendental Meditation showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms compared to health education controls. The largest decreases were found in those participants who already had indications of clinically significant depression, with those practicing Transcendental Meditation showing an average reduction in depressive symptoms of 48 per cent.

“These results are encouraging and provide support for testing the efficacy of Transcendental Meditation as a therapeutic adjunct in the treatment of clinical depression,” said Hector Myers, PhD, study co-author and professor and director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at U.C.L.A.

Read the article

“New Studies Show Reduced Depression with Transcendental Meditation”

For more information TMNews-June 2010_16

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