12 Studies that distinguish TM from other systems

There are many different form of meditation available. Each engage the mind in different ways and have different effects on mind and body. People often ask how the Transcendental Meditation differs from other meditation, relaxation and well-being practices. Following is a summary of research on TM that includes randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses comparing various techniques.

Research: Deep Rest indicated by reduced plasma cortisolResearch: Deep Rest indicated by reduced plasma cortisol

1. Relaxation

Transcendental Meditation is the only mind-body practice shown by scientific research to consistently provide a state of rest significantly deeper than ordinary, eyes-closed relaxation. Reference: American Psychologist [42] 879-81, 1989

2. Anxiety

A meta-analysis of 146 independent studies on a variety of meditation and relaxation practices found Transcendental Meditation significantly more effective at reducing stress and anxiety than other practices. Reference: Journal of Clinical Psychology [45] 957-974, 1989

3. Physiological Calmness

Transcendental Meditation produces more relaxed physiological functioning outside of meditation — throughout the day — compared to other techniques researched. Reference: American Psychologist [42] 879-81, 1987 Research: Reduction in High Blood PressureResearch: Reduction in High Blood Pressure

4. Blood pressure

Transcendental Meditation produces a statistically significant reduction in high blood pressure that has not been found to result from other forms of meditation, relaxation, biofeedback or stress management. Reference: Current Hypertension Reports 9 (6): 520-528, 2007 American Journal of Hypertension 21(3): 310-316, 2008 Hypertension 26: 820–827, 1995

5. Intelligence and Creativity

Randomised controlled studies found that Transcendental Meditation holistically improves intellectual performance — measured by increased IQ, creativity, working memory, practical intelligence, broad comprehension with improved focus — an effect not found by research on other methods. Reference: Intelligence 29: 419-440, 2001 Research: Increased Self-DevelopmentResearch: Increased Self-Development

6. Self-Actualisation

Transcendental Meditation improves measures of self-actualization more than other meditation and relaxation techniques studied. Reference: Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (6) 189–247, 1991

7. Addiction

Markedly reduces drug, cigarette and alcohol use more than other approaches — including conventional treatments — with more lasting effects. Reference: American Journal of Health Promotion, 12 [5]:297-298, 1998 Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 11,13-88, 1994

8. Fourth State of Consciousness

Transcendental Meditation is the only meditation practice found to consistently produce a distinct, major fourth state of consciousness unlike waking, dreaming or sleep. References: International Journal of Neuroscience 100, 77-89, 2000 Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 16(3):415-424, 1992 The Journal of Mind and Behavior 10(4):307-334, 1989 American Psychologist 42 : 879–881, 1987 American Journal of Psychology 221: 795–799, 1971 Science 167: 1751–1754, 1970 Research: Increased use of brain reservesResearch: Increased use of brain reserves

9. Brain Function

Only Transcendental Meditation has been found to consistently produce widespread alpha brain wave coherence, indicating more efficient and integrated bran function. References: Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 302-318, 1999 International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147–151, 1981 Cognitive Processing, 11:1, 2010

10. Reduced Medical Expenses

Transcendental Meditation is the only meditation practice shown by research to significantly reduce hospitalisation, doctor visits and medical expenses, including 87% less hospitalisation for heart disease. Reference: Psychosomatic Medicine 49: 493–507, 1987 American Journal of Managed Care 3(1):135-144, 1997 American Journal of Health Promotion 10(3):208-216, 1996 Research: Younger Biological AgeResearch: Younger Biological Age

11. Longevity

Transcendental Meditation has been shown to promote longevity, resulting in a younger biological age — an effect not seen in research on other mind-body practices. Reference: International Journal of Neuroscience 16: 53–58, 1982 Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1):201-216, 2005 American Journal of Cardiology 95(9):1060-1064, 2005

12. Reduced Mortality, Heart Attack, and Stroke

Clinical trails funded by the NIH found that practice of Transcendental Meditation reduced the chance of heart attack and stroke by 50% and resulted in longer life spans, compared to controls. Reference: Archives of Internal Medicine 166: 1218-1224, 2006 Circulation 120: S461, 2009

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