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Back To Vidyya Transcendental Meditation Could Save Millions Of Health Care Dollars

Results From A Study In The American Journal Of Health Promotion

Findings from a Quebec study published in the July 2000 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion suggest that people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique are healthier and need less medical care -- this could save health insurance agencies billions of dollars every year.

A retrospective of Quebec health insurance enrollees showed that over a six-year period a group of TM practitioners reduced government payments to physicians up to 13 percent per year, compared to controles. This could translate into savings of as much as $300 million per year for the province's health insurance company, the Regie de l'assurance-maladie du Quebec (RAMQ), researchers say. "This is a significant finding, one that could help reduce the soaring health care costs of Canada's provincial governments," says Robert Herron, Ph.D., lead author of the study and Director of the Health Management Research Center at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The study involved a total of 2836 health insurance enrollees from Quebec. Of these, 1418 were volunteers who had been practicing the TM technique for an average of six years, and 1418 were controls of the same age, sex, and region who were randomly selected by RAMQ. Using data provided by RAMQ, Herron and associates first established a baseline by going back 14 years and gathering information on the total amount of money paid to physicians for this group. Adjustments for inflation were made using the medical cost component of the Canadian government's Consumer Price Index (CPI). The scientists were able to determine a typical subject's rate of change in expenditure over the period using robust statistics.

"Physicians know that 80-90 percent of all illnesses are caused and complicated by stress. Research has shown that the TM technique is a highly effective stress-reducing program," says Herron.

A search of Medline on "Transcendental Meditation" lists more than 200 published research studies conducted worldwide on the technique during the past 30 years. Studies published in leading periodicals like Psychosomatic Medicine and Scientific American indicate that regular practice of the TM technique is associated with a wide range of health benefits to mind, body, and behavior.

For more information on transcendental meditation try

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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