“Youre all there thats the difference” by csgirla


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       6     NEWS FEATURE

     “You’re all there... that’s the difference”
     In the December 2004 issue, we took a look at Transcendental Meditation, the potential benefits it could bring to both dental phobic
     patients and dentists themselves in reducing levels of stress in daily life, and spoke to both a dentist and a patient who have found
     the meditation technique to be invaluable in helping them cope. In the concluding part of our two-part series, PATRICE GLADWIN
     speaks to Dr Michael Musgrave, a general practitioner in North London, to discover if the technique has any basis in scientific fact...
         N THE last issue, I spoke to          But there’s also been a fair body                          it is easy to do, it’s pleasant, it
         dentist Kevin Esplin about            of medical research which                                  doesn’t require any outside
     I   Transcendental Meditation and
     also to Sue Cates, a patient of
                                               shows benefits in specific
                                               medical problems such as
                                                                                                          equipment, it doesn’t require
                                                                                                          any special change of lifestyle
     Kevin’s, about how TM changed             asthma, high blood-pressure,                               and it can slot into even a busy
     her life.                                 even that it’s beneficial in                               professional life.
       I had found Sue to be                   reducing cholesterol. So, having                              “Apart from being very natural
     charming, but I needed a                  had a look at the research I felt                          and very enjoyable for patients
     more objective view. So I visited         that it would potentially be of                            to practise, one of the benefits
     Dr Michael Musgrave: “I’m a               benefit to my patients.                                    of TM is that it is cumulative
     GP and I’ve been in general                 Dr Musgrave feels that                                   over time. Patients find that
     practice in North London for              recommending TM to patients                                the longer they’ve been doing
     25 years. I’ve recommended TM             has been beneficial to both                                it the more they can take on
     to more than 200 of my patients           him and them: “Over the years                              stress, the more they feel free-
     in that time, with many benefits          I have been recommending it,                               dom. They tend to be more
     and advantages. I’ve been                 I’ve been very pleased with the                            positive, to develop better
     practising TM myself for years            results, and I believe they have                           relationships and to feel more
     and have found it superbly                been pleased too. I find it                                efficient in their daily lives.”
     beneficial in my personal life.           particularly beneficial for patients                          The fact that Transcendental
     I’ve also found it helps deal             who have stress-related disorders,                         Meditation is a natural therapy
     with professional stresses. It’s          which we see occupying perhaps                             appeals greatly to Dr Musgrave:
     made me calmer; it gives a                60 or 70 per cent of consultations                         “One of the reasons that I
     certain efficiency to life; it makes      in general practice. Patients                              select TM as a form of therapy
     one feel more tolerant and                presenting with anxiety symptoms,                          for my patients is because it                             Dr Michael Musgrave: “TM appears to induce a deep form of rest
     I believe it has helped me to             with depression, with difficulties                         contrasts very favourably with                         and tranquillity so that patients are calmer, less stressed and more in
     handle better the many pressures          in relationships, and stress                               the existing modes of treatment.                       control of their lives. A lack of a sense of control is often a symptom
     one encounters in running a               relating to their jobs: these sorts                        Nearly all drugs have side-                            which patients present with. TM for my money represents a form of
     busy practice. In the past, I             of things are likely to benefit                            effects. Many create a dependence;                     self help and I think it is very discreet and very dignified in that sense.”
     often felt left with the emotional        from using TM. There are                                   not only the tranquillisers but                                                               lives. They have the power
     weight of difficult consultations         specific medical situations as                             we are increasingly finding that                   TM for everyone?                           to reverse all of that pressure…
     after the patient had gone. Once          well such as tension headaches,                            the various anti-depressants                       I went back to Kevin with                  if they get to the lovely deep
     I’d learned TM this changed.              back conditions, migraine, peptic                          create a strong psychological                      more conviction about TM, but              place Transcendental Meditation
     I slept better, I handled                 ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome:                          dependence so that patients                        with a question: “Why isn’t                brings you. It’s there waiting… all
     frustrations with more equanimity,        those sorts of things often get                            have difficulty giving up. There                   everyone doing this?”                      people need is easy access.”
     especially those concerning the           better if patients practice TM                             is also the phenomenon of                             The reply was encouraging:
     lack of resources.                        regularly, I have found.                                   drug-therapy                requiring              “That’s what people often                  You’re all there...
                                                                                                          increasingly       heavy     dosages               say to me! Of course, it can               Although TM is something
     Stress buster                             Deep form of rest                                          to exert its effects. So, where                    take     years    before     some          that Kevin completely advocates,
     “What I’ve discovered through             “TM appears to induce a deep                               possible one tries to use drugs                    patients believe me, that TM               he did have this to say: “Learning
     studying the research findings            form of rest and tranquillity so                           with       great      caution      in              is     agenda-free,      effortless        Transcendental Meditation is not
     on TM is that it’s very effective         that patients are calmer, less                             general practice.                                  and brings benefits for anyone             cheap. You have professional
     at    reducing    the    various          stressed and more in control                                  “The mental, talking therapies,                 who learns properly. Now                   instruction and fantastic follow-
     measures of stress. At a                  of their lives. A lack of a sense                          the various forms of counsel-                      another client, David, had high            up. But there’s no intrusion
     physiological level it’s shown            of control is often a symptom                              ling and psychotherapy, are                        blood-pressure and everything              into your life: you take advantage
     to reduce the stress hormones             which patients present with. TM                            very time consuming and they                       else… but even though I                    of the teacher’s expertise as
     such as cortisol; the respiratory         for my money represents a form                             are very labour intensive. They                    recognised early that he’d love            much or as little as you like. It’s
     rate goes down; the heart-rate            of self help and I think it is                             generally require a one-to-                        the TM experience, he had to               totally ancient… and totally
     goes down; the blood-pressure             very discreet and very dignified                           one relationship between the                       come to it in his own time.                modern. I know my kids will
     goes down while people meditate.          in that sense. Patients find that                          patient and the therapist and                      And now, at last, he’s grateful            love TM when it comes to
                                                                                                          the overall outcomes are very                      to me! That’s a perk… but the              exams, peer pressure and all
                                                                                                          variable. In some cases they                       real pay-off is that I’ve calm             of that. TM just makes life

                                                                                                          even make patients worse. And                      people to treat.                           easier… because you’re using
      Apart from being very natural and very enjoyable
      for patients to practise, one of the benefits of                                                    certainly there is no clear                           “I recommend TM on a                    more than the average 10 per
                                                                                                          predominant school of therapy,                     purely personal basis, but                 cent of the mind. You’re all
                                                                                                          which is evidenced by the                          knowing that a huge body of
      Transcendental Meditation is that it is cumulative
                                                                                                                                                                                                        there… that’s the difference.” I
      over time. Patients find that the longer they                                                       wide variety of different kinds                    peer-reviewed research backs it
      have been doing it the more they can take                                                           that we have at the moment.                        up, especially in the area of                 For more information about
                                                                                                             “So there really is quite a                     high blood-pressure. Dentists              Transcendental Meditation, or
      on stress, the more they feel freedom. They tend                                                    case for something else to help                    recognise that people are often            for details of one of the 60
                                                                                                          our patients dealing with stress                   at their most stressed in a                TM teaching centres in the

      to be more positive, to develop better relation-
                                                                                                          problems, and I think TM fits                      dentist’s chair. But the real              United     Kingdom,    contact
     proAD200402017 20=01=2004 efficient in their daily lives.
      ships and to feel more 11:37 am Page 1                                                              this role very nicely.”                            problem is elsewhere in their              08705-143733.

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           The Probe January 2005

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