Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: A meta-analysis

James W. Anderson, Chunxu Liu, Richard J. Kryscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Background: Prior clinical trials suggest that the Transcendental Meditation technique may decrease blood pressure of normotensive and hypertensive individuals but study-quality issues have been raised. This study was designed to assess effects of Transcendental Meditation on blood pressure using objective quality assessments and meta-analyses. Methods: PubMed and Cochrane databases through December 2006 and collected publications on Transcendental Meditation were searched. Randomized, controlled trials comparing blood pressure responses to the Transcendental Meditation technique with a control group were evaluated. Primary outcome measures were changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after practicing Transcendental Meditation or following control procedures. A specific rating system (0-20 points) was used to evaluate studies and random-effects models were used for meta-analyses. Results: Nine randomized, controlled trials met eligibility criteria. Study-quality scores ranged from low (score, 7) to high (16) with three studies of high quality (15 or 16) and three of acceptable quality (11 or 12). The random-effects meta-analysis model for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively, indicated that Transcendental Meditation, compared to control, was associated with the following changes: -4.7 mm Hg (95% confidence interval (CI), -7.4 to -1.9 mm Hg) and -3.2 mm Hg (95% CI, -5.4 to -1.3 mm Hg). Subgroup analyses of hypertensive groups and high-quality studies showed similar reductions. Conclusions: The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation may have the potential to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ∼4.7 and 3.2 mm Hg, respectively. These are clinically meaningful changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This study was designed by J.W.A. who conducted the literature search. Statistical analyses were done by C.L. under the supervision of R.J.K.The study rating system was developed by J.W.A. with input from R.J.K. Studies were scored independently by three individuals (J.W.A., R.J.K., and Manan Jhaveri), and consensus values were established by conference discussion. J.W.A. drafted the manuscript and R.J.K. and C.L. reviewed and provided input; all authors reviewed the final manuscript and agree with the content.This research was funded, in part, by the HCF Nutrition Foundation and by an unrestricted gift from Howard Settle. During a 1-year study period J.W.A. received partial salary support from Mr Settle. Mr Settle had no input on any aspect of the study and received a draft copy as a courtesy but had no input on the content of this manuscript. J.W.A. has no other connections to groups related toTranscendental Meditation and declares no other financial interests or conflicts related to the subject of this manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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