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Transcendental Meditation A Safe, Effective Therapy Option For Depressed Seniors

May 4, 2010 by  

Transcendental meditation a safe, effective therapy option for depressed seniors Results of a recent study presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine suggest that transcendental meditation may be an effective alternative remedy for people suffering from depression.

For the study, a research team from the Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and University of Hawaii in Kohala recruited a large group of adult patients over the age of 55 who were at high risk for heart disease, and had them undergo a clinical test for depression.

Respondents were then randomly assigned to participate in transcendental meditation classes or health education courses for a period of nine to 12 months.

At the time of follow-up, patients who showed indications of clinically significant depression decreased their symptoms by an average of 48 percent compared to those enrolled in the control group.

"The importance of reducing depression in the elderly at risk for heart disease cannot be overestimated," said Gary Kaplan, clinical associate professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. "Any technique not involving extra medication in this population is a welcome addition."
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  • MisterGreenGenes

    In many cultures the elderly are the most highly valued members of society. I am happy to see programs geared toward protecting and enhancing this precious aspect of our society. If Transcendental Meditation helps them to be happier and healthier than I am all for it.
    God bless our senior citizens!

  • Sandy Sorly

    I remember back in 1973 my grandmother was considered senile {only 70}
    (that’s what we called it then) And when we all started TM,she started TM also..and a few months later, I visited her and she was pretty much back to her old self..She lived another 16 good years..so I think your right stress can mess us up at any age..

  • Richard Pawley

    While meditation has been proven to be of value there are many types of meditation. Some are safe and some are not. Transcendental Meditation is certainly the most controversial of all meditations. It is in fact a RELIGION. Now it’s probably acceptable to the ACLU because God is never mentioned but when the neophyte is taught to chant specific sounds to aliens gods – well each person can make up his own mind on that. One can learn meditation to slow his breathing and relax his mind in an hour or two without exposing himself to contact with the ‘darkside’. If the religious aspects are stripped from TM then the physical aspects of it – as I understand it – are generally OK. However, I’m reminded of a psychologist who told me of someone who was overweight and he used hypnosis to stop her excessive eating. The patient was in her thirties and immediately slowed down on her intake of junk foods. However the underlying problem had not been solved and within weeks this person who had never smoked in her life began smoking a pack a day and was soon addicted. Powerful hypnotic suggestions were implanted in the woman’s mind and she soon kicked her smoking habit but them immediately began drinking, which was no only against her religion but was something she had not done in all her life. At this point the psychologist told me that he realized that the underlying problems were not being treated, only the outward symptoms and he changed his approach entirely to deal with what was driving the patient to her addictive behavior. While there are many benefits to meditation, when one finds it being called TM then one should not be surprised to discover that it is not just something involving the physical realm but the realm of the spirit as well. I would caution a person to be aware of what they are dealing with when anything called TM is being offered. Meditation is fine but really investigate before you jump into anything that calls itself Transcendental Meditation.

  • Save America Susie

    I agree, Richard….The very fact that they only have 140 views, & only a few comments, on this one at this point, (as I start to write this),and many other articles have 3,000 or more by this time of the morning, indicates that it is NOT a popular topic. Because TM has a rep. Most people who visit this site are Political Conservatives. Many are Conservative Christians as well.In fact, they have an aversion to “TM”, by its reputation, which was well known in the “Hippy” era (1960 & early 1970′s)and got a negative connotation, as something connected with the negative spirit world–The opposite of Prayer. Many people prefer MEDITATIVE PRAYER as it also solves the problem of the SOUL, and is the connection with Almighty God through Christ by way of the Holy Spirit, without having to delve into another middle eastern religion’s detour that is opposed to our beliefs, and could possibly put us in connection with negative spirits.
    The Bible talks a lot about “Meditating on the Lord” (“God is LOVE”). King David talks about it in The Psalms. This brings a person lasting Peace, (not just temporary relaxation & focus). You can compare the two like for instance: “TM” being like a pill which you have to “pop” again tomorrow, and Meditative Prayer being something you also LIVE, a relationship with God, which changes you forever. When you use Meditative Prayer you are connecting with LOVE.

  • Vero Beach

    I learned TM this year and defiantly agree that it has put me in touch with calmer more satisfying aspects of my self. I feel like I am really getting to know who I am for the first time – it has been the most positive thing I have done.

  • Char

    Amen to your response, I am living proof of mediatating and prayer to the creator.

  • stanley

    i also tried tm in the 70′s…do not go there!!!you will be dealing with a spirit world and it is not the holy spirit!!put all your cares on the one true living God..he is willing and able to take them from you..God bless you and keep you all.

  • http://espionageaction-actionadventure.blogger.com Stephen Russell

    Can TM be done in Au Natural state?
    Love to do outdoors.
    vs Indoors.
    Venues for: Beach, Lake, river, forest, backyard?
    boat? jungle, knolls, etc.

  • http://TMandtheElderly Karrotts77

    Why can’t we just look at the data and say “the research supports the fact that TM is good for you”. I practice TM, and I go to Mass every Sunday! TM has been instrumental in bringing me closer to Christ. If TM has been found to help elderly people with depression… they should go for it. I think that it’s laughable that some of the people who have posted comments to this article portray themselves as being experts in many different types of meditation techniques… to me that sounds like they know very little about any of them!

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