Dr. Hugo Romeu Reveals 5 Reasons You Should Practice Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation is a meditative practice that induces a calm state through the repetition of a mantra. Rather than focusing your attention on your breath or your body, you repeat a sound — such as the frequently used “om” — or a short phrase for the duration of the meditation.
To get the best outcomes, you should learn the techniques from a certified TM instructor. Dr. Hugo Romeu has practiced transcendental meditation for years and works with his patients on ways to introduce it into their daily schedules. Here are five reasons you should, too.
1. Transcendental Meditation Improves Cardiovascular Health
In the U.S., the number one cause of death for women and men is heart disease, with approximately 697,000 people losing their lives in 2020. On average, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 34 seconds. Transcendental meditation provides one way to help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Scientific research on the benefits of meditation suggests that TM may lower blood pressure. One meta-study found that it was about as effective as weight loss or exercise. The American Heart Association even recommends that it be included as a potential non-pharmaceutical complement to other heart disease interventions.
2. TM Reduces Stress
In his work as a physician, medical researcher and pathologist, Dr. Romeu sees first-hand how stress affects people’s physical health. Chronic stress is common in today’s world, but it can have detrimental effects on the body, increasing the risk of:
- Chronic headaches
- Memory impairment
- Suppressed immune system
- Cardiovascular disease
Transcendental meditation produces a sense of calm with benefits that last after the session ends. A four-month TM intervention with teachers in a school for children with behavioral disorders found that the practice significantly reduced teacher burnout and stress levels. The method has also been shown to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
3. Transcendental Meditation Improves Sleep
Can you remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep? If not, Dr. Romeu recommends giving transcendental meditation a try. Sleep is vital for physical and mental health; adults generally require between seven and nine hours nightly.
TM doesn’t just help you keep your head on the pillow for more hours. It can also improve the quality of your sleep. Researchers found that TM practitioners had more hours in slow-wave — or deep — sleep. They also spent longer in REM sleep, which is essential for emotional processing, memory and brain development.
4. TM Reduces Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions that can seriously impact well-being. TM may offer relief from depression and anxiety.
One meta-analysis found that practicing this form of meditation improved symptoms in women with breast cancer, significantly reducing fear, depression, stress and anxiety. Another study found that participants who engaged in TM for 20 minutes, twice a day, reported lower anxiety and stress levels after three months.
5. Transcendental Meditation Improves Cognitive Functions
It turns out that TM also improves how well your brain works. It’s a good practice for people of all ages. High school students who participated in a classroom-based approach called Quiet Time demonstrated better working memories. A systematic review of 15 studies on the effects of meditation on students found that participating in TM improved academic achievement.
Adults aren’t left out. Research suggests that transcendental meditation may help adults retain cognitive functioning as they age, improving memory, cognitive flexibility, attention and verbal fluency.
Dr. Romeu: Final Thoughts on TM Practice
Transcendental meditation is a centering, calming practice with numerous potential benefits. Ideally, you should participate in two 15-20-minute sessions daily. To get the most from this practice, work with someone trained and certified in teaching the proper method.