People who regularly practise transcendental meditation have
fewer deaths because of heart attacks and strokes, a visiting
cardiologist will tell an audience at Canterbury University
American academic researcher Dr Robert Schneider is touring
New Zealand this month to explain the health benefits of
"I want to tell New Zealand doctors why the American Heart
Association is now recommending transcendental meditation,"
Canterbury University health sciences lecturer Dr Arindam
Basu said cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of
deaths in New Zealand. Many of the deaths are premature and
"High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and sedentary
lifestyles are believed to be major risk factors for
cardiovascular diseases, in particular coronary artery
diseases. Because of this, lifestyle modifications and
pharmaceutical interventions are used to prevent and treat
"Transcendental meditation is the most widely researched
aspect of mind-body medicine with over 600 peer-reviewed
published journal articles to testify its effectiveness."
Transcendental meditation refers to a simple,
psychophysiological procedure practised for 20 minutes twice
a day, Dr Basu said.
The meditation techniques are taught by trained instructors
and can be practised in conjunction with most conventional
"This technique not only reduces death and disability from
heart diseases, but it reduces significant risk factors of
heart disease including cigarette smoking, high cholesterol
and high blood pressure.
"It is believed that practising transcendental meditation to
reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease is probably most
directly related to its ability to lower psychosocial stress
and to correct deleterious effects of stress."
Dr Schneider's lecture at Canterbury University is next
Wednesday, October 9.