The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    The effect of transcendental meditation on blood pressure

    “Adding Transcendental Medication is about equivalent to adding a second antihypertension agent to one’s current regimen only safer and less troublesome,” according to reviewers from the University of Kentucky.

    First, the details.

    • A search of the medical literature revealed 9 studies of sufficient quality to permit re-analysis (meta-analysis) of the data.

    And, the results.

    • The regular practice of TM could be used to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by approximately 5 and 3 mmHg, respectively.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “blood pressure reductions of this magnitude would be expected to be accompanied by significant reductions in risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease without drug side effects.”

    There is a need for better blood pressure lowering treatments. Less than a third of people with hypertension are able to achieve a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mmHg using drug therapy. In most patients, two drugs are required to control blood pressure.

    Since about 2006, a consensus has evolved that using 2 drugs with complementary actions is better than just raising the dose of a single drug. It’s convenient and lowers the risk of side effects.

    So, this TM study is interesting, but has been published about 2 years too late. Yes, the complementary actions of TM when combined with a blood pressure lowering drug makes sense. But how many people would opt for TM rather than 2 blood pressure lowering drugs in a single pill?

    3/16/08 18:54 JR

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