A study done on African Americans has revealed that transcendental meditation (a particular mind-body technique) is an effective alternative to blood-pressure lowering medication. The researchers said that one can lower his/her blood pressure naturally by using this mind-body technique (transcendental meditation).
Transcendental meditation is a technique for calming the body and mind. It does not require any change in philosophy, religion or lifestyle. However, it is an effortless technique which allows the person to be wide awake but not thinking i.e. a state of restful alertness.
In this study the researches have compared the beneficial role of meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and conventional health education programme. The men and women who practiced transcendental meditation showed the greatest decrease in blood pressure and this drop is sustained for over a year. Transcendental meditation technique benefits were much higher than the progressive muscle relaxation and health education programme. This technique also reduces the use of antihypertensive medication.
Women who practiced the meditation technique had much greater decreases in their total blood pressure than those in the other groups, whereas men in the meditation group had a greater decrease in diastolic blood pressure (lower reading) only. The reason for the discrepancy between men’s and women’s results is not clear. The researcher’s best hypothesis is that women practiced the meditation technique more religiously.
In some other findings it has been proved that meditation techniques has a holistic effect, and not only lowers the blood pressure but also improves the psychological health. Such self management techniques allow people to avoid the side effects of medication and help them in reducing their health care expenses.