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Improved Health and Longevity in the Elderly


This study randomly assigned residents of homes for the elderly with an average age of 81 years to one of four programs: the Transcendental Meditation program, an active thinking (mindfulness) program, a relaxation program, or a control group with no treatment. Despite similarity among the four groups on pretest measures, expectation, and time spent in practice, the group practicing the TM technique improved most over a three-month period on blood pressure, cognitive flexibility, and other health and cognitive measures. After three years, everyone in the TM group was still alive, in contrast to lower rates of survival for the other groups and a 62% survival rate for the 478 other residents.

A 15-year follow-up study found that average survival time was 22% higher in the TM group compared to the other groups combined.

This experiment shows that declines in health and cognitive functioning can be reversed through the practice of the TM technique even with the advanced elderly, helping them live a longer, happier and more productive life.

1. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (1989): 950-964.
2. Circulation 93(3) (1996): Abstracts-A Randomized Controlled Trial of Stress Reduction on Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality in the Elderly.
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