Patients with heart problems feel better after meditation

Patients who learned Transcendental Meditation did better on those measures than patients who spent the same amount of time on lectures, discussions and homework assignments about the effects of stress, diet and exercise on the heart, the AP reports.

These beneficial health effects were achieved without changes in body weight, medication or psychosocial variables, investigators report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

TM has previously been shown to lower blood pressure, but its effect on other risk factors associated with CHD has not been thoroughly studied, according to the team.

Their study included 53 adults with stable CHD who were instructed in TM, while 51 similar patients, serving as a comparison group or "control" group, received standard health education. A total of 84 patients (82 percent) complete the study. Among the 19 dropouts, 12 were in the control arm; 15 dropped out before starting either intervention owing to lack of interest in their group assignment.

Transcendental Meditation involves sitting quietly and focusing on a repeated sound, called a mantra, for about 20 minutes every morning and evening. The practice traces its roots to ancient India. Today, it costs $2,500 to learn Transcendental Meditation in a series of lectures, personal instruction and group