A new study by Maharishi International University claims that a priori meditation – a hindu movement that silently recites spells during meditation – can help protect exercisers from heart failure. The study claims that the benefits are mainly centered on preventing abnormal heart enlargement called left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), which can eventually lead to heart failure and death in patients.
A priori meditation is a meditation exercise developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the early 1970s. The practice has become so popular that it is considered to have the status of an independent religion. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded Maharishi International University in Iowa, which is where the study came from.
Researchers at the university recently published a randomized controlled study involving 85 African-Americans diagnosed with high blood pressure. The study assigned participants to a control or a priori meditation group receiving health education, both of which received routine medical care.
According to the study, six months later, the team that performed aloof meditation maintained the heart size at the beginning of the study. But the control group had a 10 percent increase in heart abnormalities. The researchers say the results suggest that transcendental meditation is a potentially effective non-drug method that can help protect the hearts of people at risk of developing into LVH.
The study also found that people who engaged in transcendental meditation were also significantly less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, at 38 percent. Of course, it should be noted that the study was small, with only 85 participants. Similarly, only about half of the participants in each group completed heart tests after six months, and these additional factors may affect the accuracy of the results.
A priori meditation is based on the Hindu movement and is popular in the United States. Other branches that have become more and more visible as a result of the philosophy of the new era are the Vedanta Society, the Self-Understanding Fellowship, the Psychic School, Aikenka, and the International Cressar Heart Society (Hayley Cresha). Western “denominations” based on the concept of Hinduism have also developed in recent years, including The Christian Science Society, the United Church of Christ and the United Christian School.