Tags: meditation | heart | teen

Meditation Boosts Teen Heart Health

Monday, 11 June 2012 11:38 AM

Teens who regularly practice meditation face substantially lower risks of developing heart disease, even when they face other risk factors, a new study shows.
Georgia Health Sciences University researchers who studied 62 African-American teens with high blood pressure found those who meditated twice a day for 15 minutes had lower left ventricular mass – a key indicator of future cardiovascular disease – than those who did not.
“Transcendental meditation results in a rest for the body that is often deeper than sleep,” said lead research Dr. Vernon Barnes, a physiologist in the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Health Sciences University Institute of Public and Preventive Health. “Statistics indicate that one in every 10 black youths have high blood pressure. If practiced over time, the meditation may reduce the risk of these teens developing cardiovascular disease, in addition to other added health benefits.”
For the study, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Barnes and colleagues compared the heart risks of two groups of teens – one of which was trained to meditate and asked to practice the discipline for 15 minutes with a class and 15 minutes at home for a four-month period. The other group did not meditate, but was instead given health education on how to lower blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease.
Echocardiograms performed before and after the study showed the teens who meditated experiences significant decreases in left ventricular mass. School records also showed behavioral improvements in the meditating teens.
During meditation the body releases fewer-than-normal stress hormones, blood pressure drops and the heart works less.
"Increased mass of the heart muscle's left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure," Barnes explained. "Some of these teens already had higher measures of left ventricular mass because of their elevated blood pressure, which they are likely to maintain into adulthood."

© HealthDay

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Teens who practice meditation face substantially lower risks of heart disease.
Monday, 11 June 2012 11:38 AM
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