Meditating on NHS health cuts

At a time of austerity when the NHS is having to find savings and yet the demand for those services is continuing to increase, it is worth looking at whether there are some alternative approaches to health care which might lighten the load on patients, the NHS and the taxpayer.

Generally, in our society we work away until our bodies start to fall apart, then we try to get a ‘fix’ for the part which has worn out – we see ourselves like cars which are good for a number of miles until fit for the scapheap!

The holistic approach is rather different. In Ayur Veda, for example, the ancient Vedic approach to healthcare which comes from the same stable as Transcendental Meditation, the emphasis is on maintaining balance – harmonious wear, if you like – rather than driving any particular part into the ground.

So, in Ayur Veda, besides following a sensible routine and perhaps taking some herbs to correct any imbalances due to the change of the seasons (for example), one would practice Transcendental Meditation to balance many hours of activity with 20 minutes of profound relaxation of mind and body.

This has the effect of reducing wear and tear on the system and allowing it to dissolve the tension and stress which, when it accumulates, can lead to disease.

If this approach was adopted in the NHS, it might save a great deal of money and ill health. We might genuinely have a ’health service’ rather than an ‘illness service’. And, for those who thinks this approach is too idealistic to be an option, fortunately there is considerable research which shows that many illnesses tend to improve with regular practice of TM. See the Ask The Doctors website, which is a mine of information on
Transcendental Meditation and common health issues www.doctorsontm.org/.

The site explains the different reasons why doctors advise their patients to
learn TM to handle their stress, and so reduce their blood pressure, migraine, or insomnia.

Here’s an example: The prestigious American Journal of Hypertension recently published a meta-analysis of nine separate research projects on Transcendental Meditation. They provided convincing proof that the technique helps lower blood pressure as effectively as medication, ie, daily drug treatment, complete with all its long term side effects and problems.

In view of this, surely it would make sense to introduce Transcendental
Meditation more widely – not just to patients but to society as a whole. If stress is a global epidemic, TM may just be the vaccine which can help to keep it in check. And a prompt and early inoculation would make sense financially as well as physically as it could reduce the volume of stress related illness which is said to be a major proportion of the NHS’s workload.


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