A whole lot of news blogs and more are abuzz about the recent controversial new research on adolescents and obesity that demonstrated that exercise is not as beneficial for black girls as it is for white girls in that while exercise had an obvious effect on heart disease for white teen girls it did not have as appreciable an effect for black teen girls.
As reported in the Huffington Post and a whole slew of other places, a group of researchers from Georgia Health Sciences University is shifting the focus from weight to another critical issue among black teens — heart health.
The research diverges from the typical conversation on the role of diet and exercise in curbing high rates of heart disease among African Americans early on, and focuses instead on the role of meditation.
In a study of 62 black teens with high blood pressure, those who meditated twice a day for 15 minutes had lower left ventricular mass, an indicator of future cardiovascular disease, than a control group, according to a news release. [Brian Note: This is IMPORTANT! See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120607092810.htm for much more on this.]
For the study, which was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, half of the teens were trained in transcendental meditation and asked to meditate for 15 minutes with a class and 15 minutes at home for a four-month period. The other half was exposed to health education on how to lower blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease, but no meditation.
Researchers also measured the mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle before and after the study, a test that signals how hard the heart is working to pump blood through the body. “Increased mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure,” explained Dr. Vernon Barnes, a physiologist in the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Health Sciences University Institute of Public and Preventive Health.
Among the group that meditated, Barnes and his team found that left ventricular mass was significantly decreased.
Describing his experience with transcendental meditation, Dr. Mehmet Oz told the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20TM.html):
“It’s like, imagine the ripples on top of an ocean…And I’m in a rowboat, reactively dealing with the waves and water coming into my boat. What I need to do is dive into the deeper solace, the calmness beneath the surface.”
Barnes likens it to a period of deep rest, explaining that “As a result, the vasculature relaxes, blood pressure drops and the heart works less.”
Earlier this year, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School uncovered a similar link between yoga and anxiety among teens, while Barnes’ team reported behavioral improvements in the teens who meditated in their study.
According to Barnes, one in 10 black youths suffer from high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease that he says can be curbed through the use of meditation techniques practiced over time.
Now, here’s the kicker . . . it isn’t TM or the like that’s the key . . . or sitting and closing your eyes and relaxing . . . while those are are very helpful, the real key to this sort of thing, especially if your goal is short term practice rather than hours and hours of wall gazing . . . is . . . focused experiential trance. You get in there and really FEEL the effects, not just mentally going through the experience but get your imagination intensely involved in the experience so you FEEL yourself relaxing and entering an altered state of consciousness.
One thing folks might find helpful is to use a training session that is longer and designed to condition one into entering a deep relaxed focused trance state, conditioning to a trigger or even a post-hypnotic suggestion that one can then use to re-enter the state at any time for shorter sessions. Honestly, I’d suggest using something similar to any of the products I list below say for three times a week for a few weeks as conditioning and also doing fifteen minutes of self-trance work every day along with and after the conditioning. Over time, you can return to the conditioning file anytime to boost your efforts.
Of course, while the recent study is specifically aimed at black teens, particularly girls, the link between simple focused trance, meditation, and hypnosis has been clearly demonstrated for all ages and ethnic groups for years.
If you’re in Taipei and interested in hypnosis, check the services page linked to in the top left sidebar. Not in Taipei, check the store for recordings in the same menu area as well as links to lots and lots of info and goodies.