Transcendental Meditation Classes for High Blood Pressure Newport KY
Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry
Fort Thomas, KY
Doctoral Program: Adler School of Professional Psychology
Credentialed Since: 2010-01-04
Psychopharmacology, Individual Psychotherapy
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Doctoral Program: Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
Credentialed Since: 2006-03-01
Mental Health Professional
Ft Wright, KY
Fort Thomas, KY
Reducing Stress to Reduce High Blood Pressure
By Steele Belok, m.d.
Q: I know that reducing stress is crucial to controlling my blood pressure. What’s the best stress-busting technique?
A: Transcendental meditation is a terrific way to promote relaxation. It doesn’t require a specific diet and while the training can be costly, once you’ve learned the technique, it’s free. The benefits come by way of physiological effects such as slowing the respiratory rate and reducing production of the stress hormone cortisol. Calming these aspects of the stress response helps blood vessels relax and widen, which reduces pressure.
One study found that a group of African-Americans who practiced TM lowered their blood pressure by twice as much as a comparison group who used a progressive muscle relaxation technique. In fact, the TM group’s blood pressure dropped by the same amount one would expect to see if they had just begun taking medication. Eight years later, their mortality from cardiovascular disease was 67 percent lower than that of the other relaxation group, and 75 percent lower than that of a control group that received no relaxation training at all.
TM is also thought to reduce anxiety—another key to lowering blood pressure—partly by stimulating the production of the mood-enhancing brain chemical serotonin. While there’s less evidence to support other forms of meditation, they may also be helpful.
TM is taught at Maharishi Vedic Centers. You can find the nearest one by calling 888.532.7686, or look online at www.tm.org .
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