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Serenity without pills - latest trend in psychiatry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An Auckland psychiatrist is endorsing Transcendental Meditation in clinical practice for the treatment of anxiety disorders and stress related illness in his recently released book "From Anxiety to Peace".

Dr Nick Argyle, MRCPsych FRANZCP, former Clinical Director for Mental Health, Auckland District Health Board, documents the clinical role of Transcendental Meditation (known as TM for short) in the book and for many years has himself recommended the technique to patients.

Dr Argyle says stress is an established cause of mental illness and can be a major factor either causing or worsening illnesses of all types. He says that TM, practiced for twenty minutes twice a day, gives the body a unique state of deep rest enabling it to release stress and tension and therefore alleviate the very cause of psychosomatic disease.

According to Dr Argyle, Transcendental Meditation is the most effective technique to deal with stress. Regular practice leads to improved mood and lower trait anxiety and addictive behaviour is reduced. In addition to that, higher functions such as moral reasoning and self-realisation are enhanced.

Dr Argyle maintains that while prescribed drugs carry the risk of negative side effects, TM actually brings "side benefits" to patients with increased wellbeing and improvements in stress related disorders such as anxiety and depression.

The Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957-974, 1989, reported that a study of all known research found that the TM technique was more than twice as effective as any other method in reducing trait anxiety, a measure of chronic stress.

As far as general health goes, two large scale studies conducted in the USA have shown that people practising Transcendental Meditation regularly over a 5 year period used doctor and hospital services approximately 50% less than the average person in findings based on health insurance statistics. The figure rose to over 70% for those middle aged or older. Research studies on TM and Mental Health have appeared in leading scientific journals throughout the world for more than 40 years.

Dr Argyle has found TM effective in many common problems such as insomnia, depression and addictions which are so often seen in primary care. He would like GP's to be able to prescribe TM for their patients to support both their mental and physical wellbeing.

Transcendental Meditation has been taught throughout New Zealand since 1970 by the Maharishi Foundation, a non-profit educational organisation and over 40,000 Kiwis have learned the technique in that time.

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