Sunday Night, Oprah‘s network aired her show, “Next Chapter.” The show went into depth covering Transcendental Meditation or TM. The Huffington Post says that Winfrey, while speaking with Dr. Oz last year, described having more of a spiritual than bodily fulfillment, and that the practice of Transcendental Mediation was part of her overall attempt to “connect with that which is God.”
If you are not aware of TM, it is a simple form of meditation practiced 20 minutes twice a day. It is based on the ancient Vedic tradition of enlightenment in India. It was created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi about 50 years ago.
It is not specific to a religion or lifestyle and many celebrities practice TM, including Oprah. There are more than five million people worldwide that practice this form of meditation, making it one of the more popular versions.
It is unique from other forms of meditation because unlike other styles that have you focus on your breathing or a single thought, it allows your mind to naturally transcend without forcing it to go somewhere in particular.
Since it was created, more than 600 research studies have been done on its healing effects. The studies include everything from how it reduces pain, to its reversal effects of aging and increased longevity.
The research, even though not all conclusive, has shown that TM has many benefits. Recently, according to the Huffington Post, filmmaker David Lynch, who is an avid Transcendental Meditator, decided to reach out and use TM to help children and war veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Not only can the benefits help with PTSD but the anxiety and insomnia reducing meditation has been shown to also help with obesity.
A study discovered that people who only slept four hours a night were more likely to consume more calories. According to an article written by Matt McMilen from Health.com, women were likely to eat an average of 329 more calories and men would consume around 263 more compared to when they were well rested. The conclusion being that a proper night sleep will reduce the amount of calories you eat the next day.
Sometimes it isn’t as simple as just getting more sleep, sometimes the challenge is being able to actually go to sleep or stay a sleep. When people suffer from anxiety or stress their body produces higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline. People who suffer from insomnia will have higher levels of cortisol at night. When these hormone levels stay high for long periods, the effects can be very damaging. Over time cortisol will cause healthy bone and muscles to breakdown and become weaker. It also slows digestion and metabolism causing weight gain, particularly around the waistline.
According to the Transcendental Meditation Program website, they believe the foundation of good health is very deep rest. They say the TM technique isn’t only used for relaxing but it allows you to find the state of “restful alertness.” They report that after meditation, Transcendental Meditators feel calm, clear and energetic. During meditation, the mind calms down and the body relaxes causing your breath to slow. The sympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s control point for stress, will also slow down. This causes the stress hormones to become reduced, allowing you to get a better night sleep. Getting a better night sleep will not only help you from consuming too many calories, the lower levels of cortisol means reducing the risk of having a larger waistline as well.