A study of African American teens found that those on the brink of having high blood pressure may benefit from practicing transcendental meditation, a technique for calming the body and mind.The technique works by individuals sitting quietly with their eyes closed for 15 minutes, letting the mind and body naturally settle. The researchers tested the practice on 156 high school students who spent 4 months either practicing transcendental meditation or taking a health education class.
Upon learning the technique, the transcendental group practiced meditation for 15 minutes 2 times a day, every day. During the week, 1 of the sessions took place at school. On many occasions, the participants wore small ambulatory blood pressure monitors. The results showed that over 4 months the participants in the transcendental meditation group's blood pressure dropped an average of 3 to 4 points. The blood pressure of the participants in the health education class remained the same. (The findings were reported in the American Journal of Hypertension, April 2004.)