The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent, and Guardian, were among media worldwide to report that Transcendental Meditation may be a more effective approach to reducing symptoms of depression than good diet and exercise, according to two new medical studies.
The studies, conducted at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and the University of Hawaii, looked at more than 100 people aged 55 years and older who were at risk from cardiovascular disease and found that those who practised TM showed a 48 percent reduction in depressive symptoms compared with those given dietary advice and exercise.
Dr Sanford Nidich, lead author, said clinically meaningful reductions in depression were observed without the use of drugs or psychotherapy. “The findings of these studies have important implications for improving mental health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”
The findings were presented on Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Seattle, and published yesterday in Medical News Today.
“The importance of reducing depression in the elderly at risk for heart disease cannot be overestimated,” said Dr Gary P Kaplan, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, NYU School of Medicine. “Any technique not involving extra medication in this population is a welcome addition. I look forward to further research on the Transcendental Meditation technique and prevention of depression in other at-risk elderly populations, including those with stroke and other chronic diseases.”
FACTS ON DEPRESSION
- At least one Briton in every six becomes depressed in the course of their lives.
- One in 20 is clinically depressed.
- Around 30% of all British people will experience mental health problems every year.
- 10 per cent of the population in Britain at any one time are depressed.
(The Office for National Statistics 2000)