Transcendental Meditation lowers stress and med bills

David Lynch

Filmmaker David Lynch runs a foundation that gives out scholarships for needy people to learn the Transcendental Mediation technique. Image: Just Jefa/Flickr/ CC BY-N

Transcendental Meditation is an effective relaxation technique that can reduce stress and help keep the doctor bills down.

No philosophical or spiritual concessions

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a relaxation technique that was introduced to the West by Mahesh Prasad Varma, who later in life came to be called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917 – 2008). His technique was a distillation of Eastern meditative practices that eschewed spiritual trappings in favor of simplicity and verifiable stress reduction effects. It is a simple, effortless technique that take only 20 minutes, twice a day, and requires no philosophical or spiritual concessions.

Over the years, his technique has been embraced and practiced by such culturally and spiritually-diverse celebrities as actor Clint Eastwood, filmmaker David Lynch, radio shock-jock Howard Stern and innovative scientist Buckminster Fuller.

Fuller said of the Maharish in 1971:

“You could not meet with Maharishi without recognizing instantly his integrity.”

Reduces chronic stress and medical bills

Dr. Robert E. Herron, director of the Center for Health Systems Analysis, wrote recently:

“Because chronic stress is a leading driver of high medical expenses, if Medicare and Medicaid started covering the most effective stress-reduction method, the Transcendental Meditation technique, it may be possible to greatly reduce skyrocketing health care expenditures and rescue these programs without cutting benefits or our raising taxes.”

It seems unlikely that any U.S. government agency will soon embrace any technique with a hint of Eastern spiritualism attached to it, no matter how divorced from its Hindu origins. However, according to the Washington Post, the Veterans Administration is currently spending around $5 million studying three different meditation techniques for their effectiveness in stress reduction. One of the techniques being studied is TM. The results of those tests, however, will not be available until next May at the earliest.

But other studies show the technique can reduce stress on a daily basis, thereby lowering medical costs. Last year, Dr. Herron published a report in the American Journal of Health Promotion. It found that people with chronically-high medical bills saw a 28 percent decrease in medical expenses after practicing Transcendental Meditation for five years. After a single year of practicing the technique, their bills dropped by 11 percent.

Cost of learning TM

It does cost to learn the technique, and it is not cheap. However, once learned, it is there for a lifetime and no additional cost is ever necessary.

The price for learning to meditate has gone up over the years, as inflation has driven up the costs of supporting a non-profit organization. Today it costs about $2,500 to learn, which sounds pretty steep. But compare that to the cost of other medical methods of stress reduction, which do not last a lifetime, and it may not seem so bad. Plus, scholarships, discounts and loans are available for those who can’t afford it. In the past four years, for example, the David Lynch Foundation has provided over 100,000 scholarships so that low-income people could learn this valuable technique.

Those interested in learning more about Transcendental Meditation, or who want to inquire about scholarships, can contact the non-profit organization at www.TM.org. The David Lynch Foundation can be contacted at www.davidlynchfoundation.org.

Sources

Huffington Post
Good News
WashingtonPost 

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