Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Are the benefits of the TM technique just a ‘placebo effect’?    
No, because the TM technique shows objective effects over a long time period.
David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.Placebo effects are powerful, but they are psychological, short-lived, and decay over time. It is generally understood in the scientific community that a treatment effect is not due to placebo effects if it can be demonstrated by objective measures as having long-term effects.

Numerous studies have shown that the Transcendental Meditation technique produces long-term effects on objective measures.

For example, a 10-year study found that the Transcendental Meditation practice reduces death, heart attacks and strokes by 48%. These are objective outcomes over a long time, not a placebo.

David W. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.
What is EEG coherence?    
Increased orderliness of brain functioning.

The EEG is the electrical activity measured on the scalp that reflects the activity of millions of neurons in the brain below. Although the EEG is too global to tell us anything about what the individual neurons are doing, it does indicate a great deal about how well their collective activity is organized.1,2

High coherence occurs when the EEG signals rise and fall together in harmony. They provide the time signature that integrates the activities of different areas of the brain much as a conductor’s baton coordinates the different sections of an orchestra into a symphony. The chart illustrates the results of many experiments showing how high EEG coherence is associated with a wide range of cognitive abilities and improved mental health.

The Transcendental Meditation technique increases EEG coherence as the basis for its ability to improve all these psychological factors.

1. Sauseng P, Klimesch W. What does phase information of oscillatory brain activity tell us about cognitive processes? Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2008;32(5):1001-1013.

2. Palva S, Palva JM. New vistas for α-frequency band oscillations. Trends Neurosci 2007;30(4):150-158.


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