Chapter 6


This chapter looks at research showing that transcending (through Transcendental Meditation):

• promotes recovery from addictive behavior
• releases us from the causes of co-dependence
• addresses the problems of the adult child
• heals the effects of trauma
• restores all levels of self-referral

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To date, thirty-six studies have looked at how Transcendental Meditation affects substance abuse and how it can be used for the treatment and prevention of addiction. Several researchers -- Drs. Gelderloos, Walton, Orme-Johnson, and Alexander-compiled a review of twenty-four studies. They published the results in The International Journal of Addictions. I will take you through their findings, which, as you will see, cover a lot of ground.

Let's begin with an overview. In the studies, TM was compared to or used along with relaxation programs, psychotherapy, group therapy, Twelve Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, a number of drug treatment programs (including inpatient treatments), and other programs for self-development. It was routinely found that TM was more effective than other treatments alone, and that adding TM substantially improved an existing program.

TM was found to be effective:

  • on an inpatient basis
  • on an outpatient basis
  • regardless of the addict's age: high school student, college student, or adult
  • regardless of the degree of use of the addictive substance -- from casual nonaddicted users to skid-row chronic alcoholics
  • both short-term and long-term: the effects start immediately, continue over time, do not trail off, and are cumulative
  • in prison settings
  • regardless of the addict's socioeconomic background
  • for a broad range of chemicals: soft drugs, hard drugs, tranquilizers, antidepressants, caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, and prescription drugs
  • in removing the causes of the addictive behavior
  • in mitigating addiction's harmful effects on the mind and body
  • alongside other treatment methods, where TM increases
    the effectiveness of the other treatment, makes it work for
    a larger percentage of the treatment population, and speeds up the recovery process
  • in creating a distaste for the addictive substance
  • in assisting in the treatment of mental illness

Studies also indicated that TM meditators are more likely to continue their recovery program than people using other approaches alone.

Now let's look at specific studies, starting with a historical perspective...



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