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Crotta, Erika Helene
Effects of a multimodal approach of Maharishi consciousness-based health care on carotid atherosclerosis: A study of coronary artery disease patients

Order No.3131257

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the largest contributor to morbidity and mortality in the world. Over the past 30 years, focus on primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and its related risk factors have yielded three major prevention strategies-drug therapies, lifestyle modification and stress reduction therapies. Despite this effort, up to 50% of patients with documented CVD have recurrent cardiac events.

A new angle that supports further prevention of CVD is needed. Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care system, a natural, prevention-oriented system of health, includes 40 modalities for enlivening the “inner intelligence of the body,” which are responsible for coordinating diverse physiological systems into an integrated whole.

This pilot trial compared effects of four Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care modalities to those of usual care on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in elderly subjects with documented cardiovascular disease and two to six CVD risk factors. The Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care modalities included the Transcendental Meditation program, neuro-physiological integration exercises, dietary and herbal supplement approaches. Usual care included the secondary prevention system offered at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which are based on practice guidelines promoted by the American Heart Association.

Twenty-eight volunteer subjects were matched on age (mean 72 years), gender and severity of documented CVD. Measures were taken for baseline and nine-month posttest. At baseline the experimental group had significantly higher BMI (30 versus 26), triglycerides (177 mg/dl versus 101 mg/dl, and blood pressure (137 versus 120 mm Hg). They were more often single, and had lower income. Covarying for these baseline differences in major CVD risk factors, the experimental group tended to show a greater decrease in mean common carotid IMT after nine months. (Experimental -0.023 mm, Usual Care +0.041 mm, p = 0.07). The IMT regression in the experimental subjects was associated with high compliance. There was a strong correlation between compliance and increases in physical, mental and behavioral strength (r = 0.47), as assessed by Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care procedures. These findings suggest that enlivening the body's inner intelligence could be an effective tool to deal with the current epidemic of cardiovascular disease.

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