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Behav Med. 2005 Winter;30(4):173-83.

Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease. Part 3: Clinical and policy implications of research on the transcendental meditation program.

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Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States today and a major contributor to total health care costs. Psychosocial stress has been implicated in CVD, and psychosocial approaches to primary and secondary prevention are gaining research support. This third article in the series on psychosocial stress and CVD continues the evaluation of one such approach, the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation program, a psychophysiological approach from the Vedic tradition that 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 CVD-related 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 Transcendental Meditation program can be used by individuals of any ethnic or cultural background, and compliance with the practice regimen is generally high. 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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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