Meditation can cut your risk of heart attack or stroke in half by reducing blood pressure, arterial thickening and cholesterol levels, a 'seminal' new study has discovered.
Researchers from the US National Institute of Mental Health say that Transcendental Meditation (TM)-where the meditator repeats a mantra-may even protect against diabetes. "If TM were a drug conferring so many benefits, it would be a billion-dollar blockbuster," said research team leader Norman Rosenthal.
TM was tested in 201 men and women, average age 59, with atherosclerosis for nine years. Half were instructed in TM-which they performed for 20 minutes twice a day-and the rest were given advice on modifying their diet and exercising regularly.
The TM group saw such a dramatic improvement in their condition that the researchers reckon they reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke by 47 per cent (Annual Meeting of the American Heart Association, November 16, 2009, Orlando, FL).