An Interview With A Doctor: Do You Recommend Transcendental Meditation To Your Patients?

The following is an except from an interview with Dr. Charlotte Bech, a Danish doctor and Transcendental Meditation teacher. She runs her own health and wellness clinic.

As a doctor, do you recommend the Transcendental Meditation technique to your patients?

DR. CHARLOTTE BECH: I recommend Transcendental Meditation to practically every single patient who comes to the clinic. Many of them learn to meditate, and it has a remarkable effect on their health. It works through stress relief – and most diseases are, in some way or other, related to stress.

For example, cardiovascular diseases – most of these are clearly linked to stress. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, pain around the heart, atherosclerosis, clogging of the arteries… all these various cardiovascular diseases are most often induced by stress. The same is true for asthma, migraines, multiple sclerosis… Transcendental Meditation has a positive effect on these disorders.

“These are very inspiring experiences for me, too. That is why I keep on teaching meditation – it really works every time.” Another example is chronic disease. Transcendental Meditation is useful for patients who are either chronically ill or have some very serious disease like cancer or kidney failure. Research has shown that TM cannot cure these serious diseases. Yet as a result of meditation practice, people tolerate their medical treatments better. They will have more energy and a more positive outlook, they will be happier – in short, studies have shown that such patients will achieve a higher quality of life.

I have had several cancer patients who come to me as a last resort, with a diagnosis of 2-3 weeks to live. They ask: “What can you do for me?” I tell them to learn Transcendental Meditation, because at that moment it is very limited we can do at the level of physiological treatment. In some cases, we have to come to their homes as they are already too weak to walk or even to stand – so we teach them as they’re sitting on their beds at home. And at the end of the day, these people say it is the best thing they ever did in their life, the best decision they have ever made. It can completely change their mindset – after learning to meditate, they started to feel the joy of life again and get a positive outlook on their whole life situation.

So meditation relieves the suffering caused by various diseases. But what about prevention – does regular Transcendental Meditation practice prevent falling ill in the first place?

“…as you are less stressed, your immune system is stronger, and you therefore don’t catch an infection so easily.” DR. CHARLOTTE BECH: Yes, definitely. For instance, people who practice Transcendental Meditation regularly have less infections – cold, flu, ear or throat infection, even pneumonia. We see significant improvements here. Again, it works through reducing stress levels – as you are less stressed, your immune system is stronger, and you therefore don’t catch an infection so easily. So it is useful for all the doctors to know that they can recommend it to their patients. Transcendental Meditation is a highly effective addition to other treatments we are using.

This year, I have been teaching Transcendental Meditation at a large IT-company in Copenhagen in a team with my colleague Henrik Klamer, who is also a TM teacher and also an IT-expert. Everyone who learned to meditate at that company said that it was a life transforming experience – in fact, it pulled many people in that group back from taking a long-term sick leave! The stress in their personal and professional life had been building up, they were exhausted and could not continue to work anymore. Yet practicing Transcendental Meditation turned the situation around. No sick leave was necessary. Six months into meditation practice, these people feel great and fully invigorated. A lot of money was saved for the company, and human suffering avoided.

These are very inspiring experiences for me, too. That is why I keep on teaching meditation – it really works every time.

Dr. Bech received her degree from the University of Copenhagen and has worked in several areas of medicine, including the field of obstetrics. She is the author of several books on health, a columnist in national magazines, and a frequent panelist at public discussions and media events.

You can read the full interview here.