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Meditation helps middle schoolers

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AUGUSTA, Ga., Dec 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Georgia study funded by the National Institutes of Health found 20 minutes of daily meditation lowered blood pressure and heart rates in middle schoolers.

The Medical College of Georgia team, in a study published in the latest edition of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, discovered students who used a simple concentration-based breathing mediation technique had lower resting and "active" blood pressure readings.

The amount of reduction in blood pressure, if maintained over time, "would translate into an approximate 12.5 percent lower predicted risk of stroke or coronary mortality in adulthood," study author Frank A. Treiber says. Treiber and colleagues say the incidence of high blood pressure "has risen dramatically in recent years among youth," including a nearly sevenfold increase in high blood pressure among some minority youth.

The study included 73 Augusta middle school students randomly assigned to either meditation or a regular health education class. All students in the study had normal blood pressure and all wore monitors during the study to gauge their blood pressure and heart rate throughout the day.

Students in the meditation group participated in two 10-minute meditation sessions each day, once in class and once after school, for three months.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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