Meditation can lengthen life of elderly, study says

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New information suggests that meditation not only calms the mind and reduces stress but can add years onto your life.

Older adults with high blood pressure who practice transcendental meditation reduce their high blood pressure and live longer, researchers found. The report, published recently in the American Journal of Cardiology, is based on a review of data from two studies that found that transcendental meditation helps decrease blood pressure.

The average age of participants in the study was 72 and all participants had pre-hypertension or mild hypertension. Those who practiced transcendental meditation had lowered their blood pressures. Also among this group, the death rate from any cause dropped 23%, the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease dropped 30%, and the death rate for cancer decreased 49%, according to the study report.

Transcendental meditation is a technique for calming the body and mind. Individuals enter a state in which the body is awake but the mind is not engaged in conscious thought. The method is known to help wake up the body's ability to heal itself, according to study author Dr. Robert H. Schneider. There are no side effects to the technique, he said. A study abstract can be found at  HYPERLINK "http://www.sciencedirect.com/science" http://www.sciencedirect.com/science.