Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionBiofeedbackHeart DiseaseMeditationRelaxationStress

Transcendental meditation in patients with congestive heart failure

A study from the University of Pennsylvania reports that transcendental meditation (TMed) “can be effective in improving the quality of life and functional capacity of African American CHF [congestive heart failure] patients.”

23 African American men and women, average age 64, with symptoms of heart failure (New York Heart Association class II or III) were randomly assigned to either TMed or health education.

Medical News Today reports that the TMed group significantly improved on the distance walked in 6 minutes after both 3 and 6 months of TMed practice compared to the control group. The TMed group also showed improvements in quality of life measurements, depression, and had fewer rehospitalizations.

Dr. Ravishankar Jayadevappa, the lead author, believes that transcendental meditation might improve heart functioning by reducing sympathetic nervous system response to stress.

Others have observed an association between relaxation techniques (such as progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, meditation, and biofeedback) and changes in blood vessel tone. At a molecular level, the benefits from TMed and these other techniques might be due to changes in nitric oxide levels and/or activity.

3/7/07 10:13 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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