Research on the effects of the transcendental Meditation technique on Mental Health
Date: October 17, 2007 10:01:46 AM EDT

The Issue: Is there any scientific research showing that the Transcendental Meditation program improves mental health?

The Evidence:

Several studies, some large scale, have shown that the Transcendental Meditation program has beneficial effects for populations at different levels of mental health status, and under different conditions of learning the technique.

1. Effects of the on the general population who voluntarily learn the technique. An epidemiological study by the Swedish government found that the rate of mental health problems among the 35,000 people in the country who practice the Transcendental Meditation program was 100 to 200 times lower than the general population. In addition, numerous studies have reported wide-spectrum mental health benefits from the practice.

2. Effects on individuals who were encouraged to learn the technique in their workplace. A study of 800 industrial workers by Japanís National Institute of Health found a wide range of mental health benefits from the Transcendental Meditation program.

3. Effects on individuals who are highly dedicated to TM practice and who have participated in many extended meditation courses. A studiy of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance statistics on 693 faculty and staff of Maharishi University of Management found they had 92% lower rates of hospital admissions for mental health problems than the norm.

4. Effects on individuals with serious pre-existing mental health problems: Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. A randomized controlled study of Viet Nam veteranís found significant improvements in PTSS symptoms in those learning TM compared to those receiving psychotherapy.

5. Effects on individuals with serious pre-existing mental health problems: Institutionalized Psychiatric Patients. A controlled study at a major mental health facility found the Transcendental Meditation program was highly beneficial over usual care in improving mental health status and reducing dependence on medications.

6. Effects on reducing trait anxiety compared to other meditation and relaxation techniques. A comprehensive meta-analysis of 146 studies found that the Transcendental Meditation program is more  effective in reducing trait anxiety than any other meditation or relaxation technique studied.

7. Evidence That the Transcendental Meditation Program Has Broad Spectrum Benefits for Mental Health. Numerous studies show that the TranscendentalMeditation program:

1. has beneficial effects on many different aspects of mental health;

2. reduces negative personality characteristics such as tension, nervousness, neuroticism,hypochondria, irritability, and vulnerability;

3. has benefits for psychiatry, including reduced psychiatric illness, decreased depression, decreased psychosomatic disorders, improvements in schizophrenia, improvements in manic-depressive psychosis, and improvements in addictive disorders; and,

4. has benefits in special education, such as benefits for children with learning problems, decreasing overactive and impulsive behavior, improvements in autism, and decreased dropout rate in deprived adolescents with learning problems.

David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.
191 Dalton Dr.
Seagrove Beach, FL 32459
850-231-5012 Fax