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J Behav Med. 1980 Mar;3(1):59-71.

Meditation training and essential hypertension: a methodological study.


Meditation training appears to be a promising psychological approach to the control of hypertension. However, most studies to date have had serious deficiencies. This study attempted to correct many of these deficiencies. Forty-one unmedicated hypertensives referred by general practitioners were randomly allocated to three groups. The treatment group (SRELAX) underwent training procedures based on Transcendental Meditation; a placebo control group (NSRELAX) underwent identical training but withou a mantra. Both procedures were compared with a no-treatment control group. The results showed modest reductions in blood pressure in both SRELAX and NSRELAX groups, compared with the no-treatment controls, with diastolic percentage reductions reaching significance (p < 0.05). There was considerable subject variation in response, with overall a mean decline i diastolic blood presure of 8-10% on 3-month follow-up. Possible indicators to predict the response of subjects are considered and reasons for the similarity in the effectiveness of the SRELAX and NSRELAX conditions are discussed.

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