People with heart disease can halve their risk of suffering a stroke or fatal heart attack by meditating.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) lowers the risk by as much as 48 per cent, even in people who are obese and who smoke, say researchers from the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa.
The technique also lowers blood pressure, and the meditators reported experiencing less stress and anger when they practised it for 20 minutes twice a day.
For the study, 201 black American heart patients either started meditating or attended a health education class, where they adopted better diets and lifestyles. The average body-mass index (BMI) in both groups was 32, which is clinically obese, and nearly 60 per cent were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Despite the similarities, those in the TM group had a 48 per cent reduced risk of heart attack, stroke or death from any cause compared to those in the education group.Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2012; doi: 10.1161/Circoutcomes.112.967406