Transcendental Meditation improves quality of life among HIV patients

Popular Meditation technique, TM, proven to reduce stress and improve quality of life of patients with the HIV virus Photo: Adam Helfer

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 — A first of its kind University of Pennsylvania study found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique can help improve vitality and other quality-of-life factors in patients with the HIV virus.

The six-month, randomized controlled trial involved 22 subjects and compared the TM technique with a health education control. Findings were published online in the journal AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV

The TM group was found to have a significant improvement in health-related quality of life in areas such as the ability to be physically and socially active, pain, general mental health, vitality, and general health. The study group also had improved physical, social, and emotional wellbeing.

The Science of Meditation

“This is the first study to explore application of TM in community dwelling adults with HIV and adds to the existing evidence regarding association between stress and outcomes,” said UPenn researcher Sumedha Chhatre, lead author on the study.

TM reduces stress, and stress is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of HIV

A range of physiological measures, such as the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress, and T-cell count, and which is a measure of immune function, found that in every case the TM group had better outcomes than the control group, though the results didn’t achieve statistical significance.

A large body of research has found that the TM technique reduces stress, and according to the study, “stress is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of HIV.”

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“This first pilot research is very encouraging,” said Sandy Nidich, coauthor on the study and a researcher at Maharishi University of Management. “The fact that there was a marked improvement in quality of life accompanied by improvement in physiological measures indicates that the Transcendental Meditation technique may benefit AIDS patients. Particularly noteworthy is the very high compliance with the Transcendental Meditation program.”

Nidich said that these positive results warrant further large-scale studies.

The study was funded by a grant from the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), as part of their Developmental Award Program, to lead author Sumedha Chhatre .

About the Transcendental Meditation technique

The TM technique is a simple, natural and effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Extensive peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM reduces stress and anxiety, improves learning ability and promotes wellness for mind and body.

The TM technique is available in the USA through Maharishi Foundation USA, a federally recognized non-profit educational organization. Through partnerships with other non-profit organizations and foundations, full TM scholarships have been given to more than 250,000 at-risk children, veterans suffering from PTSD, homeless people, and others.  

Related Story:  Laughter Yoga and the Health Benefits of Humor

SOURCE:  Maharishi Foundation, PR Newswire

Adam Omkara is mind/body health Guru and spiritual consultant. His clients have included celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, and professional sport team owners. Adam is the founder of Omkara World and produced the mind/body fitness DVD “Intelligent Fitness.” 

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Adam Helfer

Adam is a Reiki Master, certified Health and Lifestyle counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, 20 year practicing  bramana initiated Bhakti Yogi, Spiritual advisor, visionary, jock and veteran of the “hardcore punk scene” all rolled into one.

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