Transcendental Meditation – TM & ME!

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My husband David and I met 39 years ago on a blind date.  Yes, ladies go on those blind dates!  You just never know, you might meet your soulmate!! David is my life partner. Over the many years we have been together, we try to encourage each other to lead healthy and rewarding lives. I came to the marriage with high cholesterol and David came with periodic migraines.

I take great care to eat healthy and exercise. David supports me in this by doing the same. Over the years, David has found a fabulous migraine specialist who has figured out the right protocol to take care of those migraines when they hit. This is all well and good, but now that we are in our 60’s, I wanted to figure out if there was something we could do to help prevent  those migraines instead of managing them after they occur.  So, with that in mind, David made an appointment for a consult at Scripps Integrative Medicine.

The doctor suggested that David try TM, (Transcendental Meditation). He explained the science behind it and added that he and many medical professionals, corporate executives, even celebrities mediate twice a day for 20 min. I was a bit skeptical, but willing to try anything that would help David. On the way home in the car, I called the TM center and made an appointment for us to have the training. I thought if I did it with him, it would help David do it.

When we arrived for the training, we were each taken to a different room with a different trainer. There was something very calm about this place.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  As I sat with my trainer, I thought, this is so easy and is going to be so helpful to David.

After maybe a minute, I was quite sure that the 20 minutes was almost up. When was the last time I sat calmly for 20 min? I was perplexed by how relaxed I felt. I learned to let go and just “be”, something not very familiar to me, or for that matter, our culture as a whole.

That’s when it hit me…….perhaps it wasn’t just David who needed to learn to meditate! OY!

TM where have you been all of our lives!!??

Being a bit Type A (understatement), I had to meditate perfectly. But what was I supposed to do with all those thoughts that kept gushing into my mind as soon as I closed my eyes …what is my next blog…..what am I making for dinner……… I have to get back to my computer ASAP and answer emails from menopausal women in stress…….did I send out that birthday card -you name it the thoughts came flooding in. Yet I found that with this effortless technique the thoughts did not detract from my transcending experience.  Every time I meditate this wonderful calmness and inner peace washes over me.  I am energized, alert, and way more creative. After 20 min, I feel like I went through a de-stress car wash. My stress just washes away. I love the feeling!

Later, I began reading more about meditation and how it can affect overall health and well-being. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, October 2013: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) found significantly greater effect of TM in reducing trait anxiety than treatment-as-usual and other alternative treatments, including mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) and other meditation and relaxation practices.

I reached out to Dr. Josh Trutt, a healthy aging specialist for his thoughts on meditation. He explained, “When we relax, our heart rate slows down, But when we meditate, the interval between each beat of our heart changes and becomes smoother. That interval between each beat is called Heart Rate Variability (or HRV), and smoothing it out is what lets those Yogi masters live longer—in fact in 2010 the American Journal of Cardiology reported that maintaining a healthy HRV as we age actually predicts longevity!”

We all know that heart disease is the number one killer of women. I was thrilled to find out that The National Institutes of Health has funded over $26 million in research on the Transcendental Meditation technique for prevention of heart disease.

Research on TM has shown:

  • 50% reduction: heart attack, stroke, death
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Reduced insulin resistance
  • Alleviation of stress

There are days when David has to peel me from my desk chairs to go meditate.  My Type A personality hasn’t changed but my stress level and quality of life has thanks to TM.

You don’t need to have candles and incense lit in order to meditate. You can mediate in your car between appointments, on the airplane, or in a quiet corner during your lunch hour.  It can become part of many happier, healthier, and stress-free days to come. Try it! Transcendental Meditation for Women is now a partner in my life, too.   BTW, David’s ok with this!

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After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • linda

    Oh yes! My husband&i have found amazing results meditating at the end of the day. I do believe 2 times a day is the way to go. Like always Ellen, you bring all the best to the table!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      That is great that you and your husband both meditate! It sure helps stress and over all health AND it doesn’t cost anything to do! Imagine that!!!

  • Rose

    Hi Ellen! Great post, thank you for sharing!! Would you mind if I re-posted it on the TMBlog (www.tm.org/blog)?

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Thanks, Rose! Definitely feel free to re-post.

  • It’s amazing how many benefits meditation offers. My husband is very good at it. Me? Not so much. Yet.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I totally understand. It is hard to discipline yourself to do it. There are days when David and I have to push each other to take the time to do the 20 min meditation. However, we are always glad we did it!

  • My practice is sporadic but you are so right about the benefits. It’s very good to do.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Seems so easy,but by nature it is hard for me to take time for me! I have to push myself every day to do it. However, I have the same response after…….I feel so great!

  • Stress is a killer. Any way to alleviate it is a good way. I actually tried TM once, many years ago, because of a boy (of course)- failure! All around. Maybe time to try it again? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      It is worth a try, Cheryl. Our son lives in LA – he is a script writer and songwriter. All of his friends are in the entertainment biz in some form or another. They are immensely creative people — working in a stressful field. They all went to TM to learn to meditate! I love it that at the age of 33 he has already incorporated meditation into his life. It is so healthy!

  • My husband and I met on a blind date too! Totally believe in them. When I remember to meditate I do feel more calm and centered. Sadly, I haven’t figured out a way to incorporate this into my daily routine.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Linda, I wish I had a magic wand to help make the time to meditate each day. I haven’t found that wand yet, but here is my tip: Every day repeat these words, “Just Do It”! Thank you Nike!

  • I took TM when I was 16! I guess I was ahead of the curve there. I loved it then and like most things it fell off into the night. I do practice occasionally now. Your mantra is yours for your lifetime and I love that. I hope you both continue to enjoy its benefits. It’s really wonderful!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I remember when it was real big when I was younger. I thought it was something mystical then. I had no idea what it was. Too bad, I wish I had started meditating at a younger age.

  • I used to meditate years ago and actually studied TM. I think I should go back to it now.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Give it a try again, Janie. I feel soooooooooooooooooooo much better when I do it each day.

  • Barbara Mayes

    I just found TM in January 2015! Story starts when my Mom was diagnosed with ALZ in Sept. 2014 and I immediately started suffering a skin rash from the anxiety. The anxiety along with post menopause, beta blockers, and a harsh winter in NY were the perfect storm to cause me to suffer a full body rash. Doctors and pathologists are are not able to confidently diagnose my condition. Although my emotions have been crazy at times I find that practicing TM twice a day for 20 min gives me a calm that I need to carry on! It has eventually allowed me to accept my Mom’s condition as well as mine. I am hopeful and confident that it will eventually lead to my own recovery so that I may concentrate more on my Mom and family!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Barbara, thank so much for sharing your story with us. I am so happy that TM has made such a difference in your life. Good luck and keep us posted on you.

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