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Author Topic: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV  (Read 2443 times)

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Offline Gary S

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New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:34:33 PM »
I started the regular practice of Transcendental Mediation a little over a year ago after having read the book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Norman Rosenthal. The book summarizes the over 600 scientific research studies on the proven health benefits to regular TM practice.

Many people from Oprah to Dr. Oz, Jerry Seinfeld to David Lynch, Martin Scorsese to Ellen practice TM and speak often about the positive impact it has had on their lives, health and general well-being.

New research has just been released about TM and HIV and after 1 year of twice daily practice, I am not at all surprised. My only regret is that I did not start this sooner than 25 years after my diagnosis.


http://www.tm.org/blog/research/tm-helps-improve-quality-of-life-in-hiv-patients/


There is a cost involved in learning TM. It would be great if an organization like AHF or The Magic Johnson Foundation could find a way to put together a grant to bring TM to anyone who is HIV+ and could not otherwise afford the fee to learn TM. 

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 04:30:16 PM »
I remember TM from when I was 20 years old, living with other Americans in Madrid.  We were charged a fee of like $80 in 1971.  This was a lot of cash in the day.  For our fee, we were shown a film strip of the Maharishi Yogi sitting in a wicker chair on a boat dock.  The organization claimed to own the lake front villa where the scene was shot and the Mansion in Madrid where we met.  They claimed ownership of may high end properties around the world.

An experienced TM person spoke about when she meditated in Barcelona during a festival with dancers twirling around her in the town square.  During the day, we each shelled out our $80 American dollars and received a private meeting where we were given our Mantra.  One of the speakers told of the day she received her Mantra and she slept for a full 24 hours during her first meditation.

We were seen individually as we shelled our our money, we were given our Mantra and told it was a private word, never to be spoken out loud or shared with others because that would derail the TM process.

All the Americans I knew had either been offered or had accepted the TM process and it was real street corner talking in Madrid of 1972.  My friend was a pilot who drove a brand new Porsche 911.  One night we were driving down the Autopista at 120 mph during a rain on diesel slick pavement, we had no traffic issues, I closed my eyes and visualized saying my mantra.

We were young, we partied, worked and played in Madrid for a couple of years then I came home to California.  Having been accepted at U C Santa Cruz for my freshman year,  I rented a little beach house in Rio Del Mar and on a day not unlike any other...  I found a notice on a bulletin board for TM.  There was a fee but since I had already become a member, I went to have my Mantra checked.

Since my mantra was only whispered once by a Trainer in Madrid in 1972 and kept in secrecy and in 1974, I went to meet with a TM trainer to check my mantra.  He whispered... "What is your Mantra", I whispered back, "Ayinga".  He replied, "You are correct, that is your mantra."  He wasn't in that room in Madrid in 1972, my mantra was not written down.  How would he know?   

I still got infected with HIV 20 years later and AIDS only 18 months after that.  I can say "Ayinga" for hours or days and there is no difference in my diagnosis or my side effects.  TM is a dog and pony show, for sale to the gullible. 

Having read and studied the Affordable Care Act, I have seen the Medicare Part D is being reduced over the next 7 years with "share of cost" increases beginning January 2014, which continue to increase each year until 2020 when, Medicare Part D is not offered to anyone.  My current medication costs are over $3600 per month and with a disability income of around $1000 per month (this year), I won't be able to afford my life saving medications in 2020 and I am not unique.  If I whisper or ponder the nonsense word, "Ayinga" for hours or days and it won't save my life or make that life any better.  It will not reduce medication costs.

I hope AHF will remain focused on finding ways to keep medications in the hands of their clients instead of peddling the TM Show to the continually gullible!  It has been over 40 years since I plunked down my $80 for the term "Ayinga" as my secret mantra and I am laughing so hard!  8) Have the best Day
Michael


 

Offline Jeff G

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 04:41:45 PM »
Thank you Michael ... I think you covered that completely .

Offline LiveWithIt

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 05:14:51 PM »

Since my mantra was only whispered once by a Trainer in Madrid in 1972 and kept in secrecy and in 1974, I went to meet with a TM trainer to check my mantra.  He whispered... "What is your Mantra", I whispered back, "Ayinga".  He replied, "You are correct, that is your mantra."  He wasn't in that room in Madrid in 1972, my mantra was not written down.  How would he know?   



He would know because you told him.  It's like asking your name, telling them it, and then them telling you that you are correct.

Another possible reason is that all people are given the same word, but not told to tell anyone else. 
Pray God you can cope
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

Offline Gary S

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 05:54:40 PM »
Wow...while I'm not surprised by a fellow member's complete dismissal of over 600 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the benefits of TM for everything from high blood pressure to PTSD, I am shocked at the moderator's follow up that these comments covered the topic "completely".

As a "moderator", I would urge you to look at the entire body of scientific data before making such a broad agreement with one anecdotal opinion.   

Offline Jeff G

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 06:23:13 PM »
Wow...while I'm not surprised by a fellow member's complete dismissal of over 600 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the benefits of TM for everything from high blood pressure to PTSD, I am shocked at the moderator's follow up that these comments covered the topic "completely".

As a "moderator", I would urge you to look at the entire body of scientific data before making such a broad agreement with one anecdotal opinion.   

I agree with Michael COMPLETLY that scarce funds should go for ARV's and life saving treatments  . I think it would be wonderful for people to volunteer there services to teach TM or any other thing that can add quality of life people living with HIV . I used to get acupuncture and massage therapy by volunteers who offered services for free . If you can afford them your self that's even better .

As long as there are people waiting on lifesaving meds and are struggling to pay for insurance I will give my support to what saves lives . TM does not do that , meds do . There is no peer reviewed science that demonstrates that TM can save the life of a person living with HIV .

Im not sure why you are hung up on a moderator with an opinion as a bad thing , we simply disagree and its not the end of the world . 


Offline jkinatl2

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 06:29:49 PM »
Wow...while I'm not surprised by a fellow member's complete dismissal of over 600 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the benefits of TM for everything from high blood pressure to PTSD, I am shocked at the moderator's follow up that these comments covered the topic "completely".

As a "moderator", I would urge you to look at the entire body of scientific data before making such a broad agreement with one anecdotal opinion.   

Interesting point. When someone becomes a moderator are they no longer a member?

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline tednlou2

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 11:47:20 PM »
So, why does it cost money to learn?  I would think you could just read about it.  I haven't looked, but it would seem people would have posted videos on how to do it.  Why would you need to pay to take a course? 

Offline Delby

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 02:03:40 AM »
I signed up for a TM course last year. I cost me $350 for 3 classes with someone that told me to close my eyes and whenever a thought comes into your head say the mantra. This will transcend you into another realm of consciousness. What a crock of shit. I went with a completely open mind and all i came out with was a whopping huge bill and dent in my pockets. It's meant to give you peace but all it gave me was complete frustration.  You end up sitting there saying this mantra a million times as thoughts come into your head every single second. Essentially i paid all that money to learn how to close your eyes for 20 minutes. That's all.

It's a very clever organisation that uses great marketing and testimonials to bring you in. My advice is dont do it and save your money.

That said I 100% believe in the benefits of meditation. However you need to find the type of meditation that works for you. Not TM!

Offline BT65

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 05:28:18 AM »
I have read that meditation can improve someone's memory and general peace of mind.  I do not believe TM or any other type of meditation can save someone's health.  They used to tell us crap like that back in the early days.  Because there was nothing else, many people saw HIV+ persons as prime money makers.  And for many of us, we would try anything, and unfortunately shelled out a lot of money.  Myself included.  Now I would not pay to learn TM or other types of meditation. 

Youtube offers free videos that assists someone with taking part in meditation and if if I feel the need I will utilize this.  Which I have a couple of times.  Only to assist with insomnia related issues.  Which it did not help, although it could be because I only tried it a couple times and did not get into it more than that. 

I totally agree with Jeff regarding supporting programs that offer life saving assistance to people who cannot otherwise access medications, doctor visits etc.   There are too many vultures who are looking for vulnerable people to prey on.  And unfortunately it seems they are still able to take advantage of many. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mecch

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013, 08:32:36 AM »
TM is a branded form of meditation.  Meditation is just one kind of "mind work".

There is a lot of "mind work" or "consciousness work" that can improve the lives of people with disease.   Some of it can be learned for free, much of it cannot.

This thread will just end in bad feelings as the terrain is very broad and il-defined.

When you are dealing with a disease, every patient deserves the basic care, the care proven to work.  And the rest is bonus....  Some of the bonus is great.  Some is probably a rip off.  My swiss insurance - which is the BASIC insurance covering all the things the government board says should be covered, is in a few year trial period of covering some more esoteric care/treatment.  Its all freaking "bonus" and probably hit or miss.  And nobody with "basic" is losing "basic" because someone else is doing some esoteric treatment.

In a country where everyone does not get the "basic", then obviously BONUS is just that..  And sometimes bonus is bogus, right?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 08:37:02 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Joe K

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 11:25:31 AM »
From the study referenced by the OP:

"The six-month, randomized controlled trial involved 22 subjects and compared the TM technique with a health education control. Findings were published online in the journal AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV. The TM group was found to have a significant improvement in health-related quality of life in areas such as the ability to be physically and socially active, pain, general mental health, vitality, and general health. The study group also had improved physical, social, and emotional wellbeing.

A range of physiological measures, such as the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress, and T-cell count, which is a measure of immune function, found that in every case the TM group had better outcomes than the control group, though the results didn’t achieve statistical significance."

I don't see anything saying that TM helped to fight HIV infection, only that it contributed to a better quality of life for pozzies.  The study ran for six months with 22 participants and the results did not achieve statistical significance.  What this suggest to me is that TM can be useful for some folks, but it is not a substitute for the medical care required to actually live with HIV.

While I would support the offering of TM or other alternate therapies for pozzies, I can't accept the idea of decreasing the programs that we know work.  Until there are enough resources, such as proper medical care and access to medications, for pozzies, I cannot support diverting any funds to a program that "may" help someone achieve a better quality of life, as opposed to actually keeping them alive.

Joe

Offline Jeff G

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 11:50:29 AM »
Gary , I hope you are not taking this personally because its not meant that way . We exchange ideas and opinions here , its what we do . Your ideas and opinions are welcome and a vital part of this forum so I wouldn't want you to think that your ideas are being taken less seriously just because some may disagree .

   

Offline Gary S

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 12:38:06 PM »
Jeff,

No comments have been taken personally. TM has had a significant positive impact on my health including lowering my blood pressure to the point where I do not need to take medication (which was being suggested to me prior to regular TM practice). There are numerous peer-reviewed studies showing statistically significant results of this kind. For me, one less medication is a blessing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeanne-ball/resolution-for-the-new-ye_b_802154.html

Given the increases risk of heart disease and stroke many LTS face, this quote from the article could have implications.

 "The outcome of a long-term randomized trial on older African American patients with coronary heart disease showed similar promise.4 Those practicing the TM technique during this 10-year period were found to have 47 percent less incidence of mortality, heart disease and stroke. "This impact in the TM group is stunning -- unimaginable. When you talk about these causes of death and you can reduce them by that much, as well as non-fatal strokes and non-fatal heart attacks, these are spectacularly large impacts."

The VA is spending $5MM studying the effects of TM on returning active duty with PTSD and are very encouraged by the results.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/summit-examines-use-of-transcendental-meditation-to-help-vets-with-ptsd/2012/05/03/gIQAd4AJyT_blog.html

Those of us that are long term survivors went through "war-like" conditions in the early days and I believe suffer from a form of PTSD. TM has also helped me with depression (to the point I can avoid antidepressants) and I believe it can help other LTS. Make that 2 less medications :)

I never suggested I thought TM could "cure" HIV or should trump ARV meds. I was simply saying it has worked for me and a growing body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence is showing it could help with some of the other things we deal with once your viral load is undetectable.....because for a LTS, getting the virus to undetectable does not tell the "complete" story.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2013, 12:44:37 PM »
Im glad you have found something you can afford that actually helps to enhance your quality of life Gary , good for you . 

Offline Joe K

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2013, 01:00:44 PM »
There is a cost involved in learning TM. It would be great if an organization like AHF or The Magic Johnson Foundation could find a way to put together a grant to bring TM to anyone who is HIV+ and could not otherwise afford the fee to learn TM. 

I never suggested I thought TM could "cure" HIV or should trump ARV meds. I was simply saying it has worked for me and a growing body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence is showing it could help with some of the other things we deal with once your viral load is undetectable.....because for a LTS, getting the virus to undetectable does not tell the "complete" story.

Hey Gary,

I have no issues with alternate therapies and have benefited from same many times.  My issue was your suggestion that a foundation should fund the training of an alternate therapy, when there is not enough money now, to pay for actual medical care and medications.  I'd like to see access to all forms of therapies expanded, but until we can cover the basics, all the rest is unfortunately out of reach for many pozzies.  It's great that it works for you and you can afford the training, however many cannot and right now, neither can the poz community.

Joe

Offline Jeff G

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2013, 01:15:21 PM »
My experience as a LTS factors into how I feel about this as well and the bottom line for me is medicine and treatment that saves lives . In the U.S. where you either live in poverty or pay for what you get in order to access healthcare is the reality ,  I would hope people keeps that in mind when advocating for scarce funds to be spent on anything else until those dire needs are met .

I cant help but feel this way because these issue have been with me for 30 years and I'm mindful to the fact I'm not the only one by far who has suffered or sacrificed in order to have access to meds that have kept me among the living .     
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 01:35:34 PM by Jeff G »

Offline leatherman

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
In the U.S. where you either live in poverty or pay for what you get in order to access healthcare is the reality
don't forget that many of us here are the "lucky" ones. Most of us are accessing this forum from home with a computer and an internet connection. There are plenty of HIV positive people out there competeing for scare dollars, even before access to meds and health care, to pay for the basic essentials of housing and food - especially housing for HIV+ people which has taken quite a hit this year already.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline elf

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Re: New Research on Transcendental Meditation and HIV
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2013, 04:15:09 PM »
I like Yoga-Nidra
Quote
Yoga nidra or "yogi sleep" is a sleep-like state which yogis report to experience during their meditations.

The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, abdominal pain respond well. It has been used to help soldiers from war cope with PTSD.

Yoga nidra refers to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as "prajna" in Mandukya Upanishad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga-nidra

 


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