My father introduced TM (transcendental meditation) to me my senior year of high school as a way to unwind, relax, and fight stress as I headed off to college. Since then, I've always felt lucky to know a kind of secret way to recharge my batteries, without needing a nap. But I was surprised to learn that practicing meditation has another heath benefit for your heart.
It turns out regular practice of TM doesn't just help your psychological well-being; it has also been shown to have significant therapeutic effects on people at high risk for heart attacks. A recent study, which followed 200 patients for five years, reveals that "the high-risk patients who meditated cut their risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from all causes roughly in half compared with a group of similar patients who were given more conventional education about healthy diet and lifestyle."
According to Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, who presented the study's findings, TM's ability to help reduce blood pressure is essential to helping prevent heart attacks and heart complications, “We found reduced blood pressure that was significant – that was probably one important mediator," claims Schneider.
TM is also easy to learn and practice — it doesn't require specific education, and from my own experience, I totally agree with Dr. Schneider — "it's a straightforward technique for getting deep rest to the mind and body."