Can meditation reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke?
The list of health benefits attributed to meditation keeps on growing. Last year, I detailed how mindfulness meditation can help people manage pain, stress, and overeating and even led to the growth of brain regions associated with improved memory and emotional regulation. Now, a new clinical trial has found that transcendental meditation -- which involves focusing on a sound or mantra -- can lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in African-American heart disease patients who practiced the technique for 20 minutes a day.
In a study published Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, heart patients who were randomly assigned to practice meditation every day for five years were 48 percent less likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke compared with their counterparts who took a health education class.
Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger, which could have helped ease their heart risks.
The study involved only 201 participants, and the finding needs to be confirmed with larger trials, but given that meditation poses no risks, why not watch the video above, and give it a try?Deborah Kotz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.