Is Meditation the New Medication for Stressed College Students?

 Maharishi University

New brain study at American University shows promising results

Web news conferenceTo observe real-time changes in brain functioning during Transcendental Meditation practice

NEW YORK (RushPRnews) 02/21/09-Escalating demands of college life put tremendous stresses on students, who abuse drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and boost academic performance. According to a recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month.

Web news conference
Tuesday, February 24 • 12 Noon (ET)
Live EEG Demonstration

A new study, to be published in the February 24 issue of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Psychophysiology , suggests meditation as a possible solution.

“Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on brain functioning and stress reactivity in college students” is the first random assignment study of the effects of meditation practice on brain and physiological functioning in college students.

The study is a collaboration between the American University Department of Psychology in Washington, D.C., and the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The study investigated the effects of 10-weeks of Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice on “Brain Integration Scale” scores (broadband frontal coherence, power ratios, and preparatory brain responses), electrodermal habituation to a stressful stimulus, and sleepiness in 50 students from American University and other Washington, D.C., area universities.Modern Distinctions by Invitations by Dawn

After 10 weeks of regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, students at American University habituated quicker to a stressful stimulus, reported less sleepiness, and measured higher on a Brain Integration scale than non-meditating controls.

The results of the study will be announced during an online news conference on Tuesday, February 24, 12 noon (ET), at .

Speakers include the study authors David Haaga, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the James J. Gray Psychotherapy Training Clinic at American University; Fred Travis, Ph.D., director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa; and Patricia Spurio, a meditating college student who participated in the brain study.

The news conference will also feature a live EEG demonstration to allow reporters to observe real-time changes in brain functioning that occur during the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Click on the URL and it will take you to the website for the live news conference on Tuesday at noon ET. Also available are links to the study published in Science Direct, and an address to obtain the complete study.

Registered reporters: go to EurekAlert for this embargoed press release title:
Transcendental Meditation buffers
students against college stress: study

Research at American University shows meditating students
react better to stress, are less fatigued, have more “integrated” brains

More details of the study are available, with graphs, photos, and a video with brain researcher Fred Travis, PhD, discussing the AU study findings. Subtitle also links to posted Web News Conference press release at:

Ken Chawkin
Media Relations Office
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“All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

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