Livin' on the MDedge

Medical practice gave 8,000 patients cancer for Christmas


This group practice reduced stress for everyone

It’s been awhile since we checked in on the good folks at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa – fictional home of the Fighting Transcendentalists [MAHARISHI RULES!] – but we just have to mention their long-term effort to reduce the national stress.

woman meditating Goodboy Picture Company/E+/Getty Images

Way back in the year 2000, a group from MIU began practicing transcendental meditation. The size of the group increased over the next few years and eventually reached 1,725 in 2006. That number is important because it represents the square root of 1% of the U.S. population. When that “transition threshold was achieved,” the university explained in a written statement, “all stress indicators immediately started decreasing.”

By stress indicators they mean the U.S. stress index, the mean of eight variables – murder, rape, assault, robbery, infant mortality, drug deaths, vehicle fatalities, and child deaths by injuries – that the study investigators used to track the effectiveness of the meditation program, they said in the World Journal of Social Science.

After 2011, “when the size of the group size began to decline the rate of decrease in stress slowed and then it reversed and began to increase,” MIU reported.

Coauthor Dr. Kenneth Cavanaugh of MIU explained the process: “This study used state-of-the-art methods of time series regression analysis for eliminating potential alternative explanations due to intrinsic preexisting trends and fluctuations in the data. We carefully studied potential alternative explanations in terms of changes in economic conditions, political leadership, population demographics, and policing strategies. None of these factors could account for the results.”

Since we here at LOTME are serious professional journalists, the use of quotes means we are not making this up. Here’s one more thing in quotes: “A grant for 75 million dollars from the Howard and Alice Settle Foundation provided stipends for participants to be in the group and provided funding to bring several hundred visiting [meditation] experts from India to further augment the MIU group.”

Who needs to make up stuff? Not us.


Recommended Reading

Looking for a healthy meat substitute? Consider the potato
MDedge Pediatrics
Everyone wins when losers get paid
MDedge Pediatrics
Have you heard the one about the cow in the doctor’s office?
MDedge Pediatrics
All the National Health Service wants for Christmas is tea and biscuits
MDedge Pediatrics
Bad breath? Mouthwash is out. Yogurt is in.
MDedge Pediatrics