There is compelling evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, that the Transcendental Meditation technique brings great benefit to men and women and children. So what’s the big deal about discussing TM specifically in terms of us women? It is worth noting that we have gender-specific issues that are beautifully addressed by the TM technique. As a woman, I was curious about these issues so I looked into it—and then I looked some more because it’s really interesting. Here is some of what I found out.
Women today make up more than half of the workforce and often carry the bulk of housework and childcare. In fact, about 38% of USA mothers are single parents. The more responsibilities we juggle, the more we experience exhaustion and stress. By the time we turn 60, half of us will have hypertension, and by age 75, 80 percent of us! Harvard Women’s Health Watch reports that hypertension is the most common condition for which women see a doctor. But we don’t want to be forced to guard against high blood pressure by restricting our lives—instead, we want to:
2) eliminate stress, enabling us to give without depleting ourselves.
So, how does TM help women specifically in this regard? It may be hard for those who haven’t yet learned TM to believe, but research shows that the TM practice increases energy and resilience and significantly reduces stress as well as decreasing the three main risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. Amazingly, the TM technique actually reverses atherosclerosis.
Are you, or will you be, one of the 60% of women who have insomnia? Do you smoke or abuse alcohol when you’re anxious? And (yikes!) did you know that one in three visits to a doctor by American women results in a prescription for antidepressants? Insomnia, depression, chronic stress, and smoking are wide-open doorways to heart disease; these risk factors for heart disease decrease with TM practice. The Journal of Counseling and Development reported that patients suffering from post-traumatic stress problems who learned the TM technique showed significant reduction in depression after four months, in contrast to others who did not learn TM but received psychotherapy instead.
I was accompanying someone to an emergency room last week when a woman came in reporting chest pain—just one week after having a heart attack. Did you know that within a year after a heart attack, the death rate for women is much higher than it is for men? But here’s some good news: the TM practice reduces repeat heart attacks by over 48%, according to NIH-funded published studies. Here’s more: a 2013 statement by the American Heart Association said that TM is the only meditation or relaxation technique to significantly reduce high blood pressure, and they recommend that it could be included in hypertension treatment.
But I’m sure that for most of us, our lives are not all about guarding against disease—we treasure our inherent female capacity for creativity and nourishing others, both of which—poof!—disappear when we’re stressed, exhausted or anxious. I was shocked to learn that 79 % of the US population with symptoms of anxiety are women. Serotonin, of which women produce 52% less than men, is crucial in decreasing anxiety. So, you’ll be happy to hear that the TM technique has been proven to increase serotonin and reduce anxiety.
I took the Transcendental Meditation course before a lot of this research was published and what I’ve read about women and TM since then has most definitely corresponded with my experience—and the TM experiences of my grandmother and my cousin and my sisters and my niece and so many of my friends.
Ladies, I’m sure you have questions, so—please ask away! Email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just click the cute intercom icon in the lower right corner and start a chat with Lisa.
I know this may be a new avenue of exploration for you, but the facts speak for themselves, and I encourage you to check this out—you won’t be disappointed.
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of the TM program for women professionals in the USA.