Effects of transcendental meditation on mental health: a before-after study

Author: Yunesian M, Aslani A, Vash JH, Bagheri Yazdi A
Conference/Journal: Clin Pract Epidemol Ment Health.
Date published: 2008 Nov 1
Other: Volume ID: 4 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 25 , Word Count: 188

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Transcendental Meditation is a mental practice to put the body and mind into a state of relaxation and rest. The method was shown to reduce anxiety and stress in previous reports. This study investigates its potential benefits in enhancing mental health of an adult Muslim population. METHODS: A before-after clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of a 12-week meditation course on mental health of participants who were enrolled into the study by random sampling. 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was administered on two occasions in conjunction with a background data sheet. RESULTS: Mean age of participants was 32.4; they were 70% female and 55% married. GHQ scores improved significantly after the meditation course (p value: <0.001). The difference was also significant in all subgroups of the population studied. In subclass analysis of the GHQ results, the before-after score improvement was significant only in the areas of somatisation (p value: <0.001) and anxiety (p value: <0.001). CONCLUSION: Transcendental Meditation may improve mental health of young adult population especially in the areas of somatisation and anxiety, and this effect seems to be independent of age, sex and marital status.