James Krag, M.D., President of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia
“Just as there are many kinds of medication, there are also many approaches that are termed ‘meditation.’ The vast majority of the research on meditation has been on the Transcendental Meditation technique—and the findings clearly indicate that the TM technique works better than other researched mental techniques to promote health. If research shows that a specific medication helps treat a disorder, it would be irresponsible and illogical to conclude that all medications help treat that disorder. In the same way, research on Transcendental Meditation should not be generalized to include other techniques also called ‘meditation.’ We should intelligently choose what works and what is supported by research. Therefore I strongly support the introduction specifically of the Transcendental Meditation program into our nation’s schools and health care systems.”
Vernon Barnes, Ph.D. Medical College of Georgia faculty
“Unfortunately, no. Comparative research has shown that the various forms of meditation do not produce the same effects. Because each kind of meditation practice engages the mind in it’s own way, there’s no reason to expect the same results from the various methods or that scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program will apply to other practices.
“There have been studies comparing the effects of the TM technique, Zen, Mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhist and Vipassana meditations, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Benson’s Relaxation Response—examining such factors as brainwave patterns, levels of rest, and benefits for mind and body. While some other forms of meditation have been found to produce good effects in specific areas, these various practices have their own aims and are not necessarily intended to produce the broad range of benefits that result from the Transcendental Meditation technique.
“Neural imaging and EEG studies indicate that TM practice creates a unique brain pattern: it is the only meditation technique known to create widespread brainwave coherence. The TM technique also produces deeper rest than other practices, and studies show the technique to be more effective at reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-actualization.”