Overcoming Illness with TM
Five years ago Donald McBride worked 70 hours a week and never saw his wife and baby. One day he was driving home from work when he suffered a panic attack with heart flutters and severe pains across his chest and arms.
“I thought I was going to die,” says Donald, who has a family history of heart disease. His GP offered him beta blockers to regulate his heartbeat but he was appalled at the prospect of taking drugs for the rest of his life. Then the doctor handed him a leaflet about an unconventional treatment – transcendental meditation.
“I was extremely sceptical about meditation,” says Donald. “But I was desperate, so I signed up for a three-day course. I found that it’s as easy as thinking or breathing. Now when I’m faced with a situation where I used to lose my temper, I deal with it calmly and am much more open to other people’s thoughts and ideas…. I’m fitter, healthier and I sleep and think better because my mind’s no longer cluttered.”
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E.): Michelle McHale (First published in Sussex M.E./CFS Society Newsletter)
Eight months ago I was hospitalised with yet another CF related virus – this time a meningitis scare. Once more, I had to give up my work that month as a tour director. It is a high energy job leading educational tours of Europe with American High School students.
The following month I dragged myself through a short and supposedly easy two city tour before taking a course in Transcendental Meditation. All I had to give up was a little time and money (The Meditation Trust charges people based on their income and mine was low because of the illness preventing me working). It is also hugely reassuring to know I can call my teacher Colin any time if I have any doubts and he is a guiding hand always there for support.
It is now six months since the course and in that time I have breezed through the longest tours I have ever led, and all without a hitch. To top it off, I have just come back from a long haul tour of South America that included 11 flights and a 10 hour drive across the Andes. I am fighting fit and ready to go back again next week! I don’t seem to have had any problems with jetlag and my groups constantly comment on how cheerful I am and how much energy and enthusiasm I have.
I am getting stronger every day. It sounds a cliché but TM is the best decision I ever made for my mind and body and the results are so powerful my boyfriend and parents have all enrolled on a course themselves.
High Blood Pressure
Fred Riedel, 74, a retired university lecturer in management finance swears by TM. He had a mild stroke 15 years ago and took blood pressure pills. “But they made my muscles ache and gave me diarrhoea. I happened to see an advertisement for TM. I practice it twice a day and some time ago was able to reduce my drug dose. Last May, with my GP’s approval, I stopped my drugs. My blood pressure remains normal and I do not feel my age.”
Recovery from Breast Cancer
Mary Green was diagnosed as having Breast Cancer, had surgery and afterwards underwent six months of chemotherapy and then radiation treatments. “Doctors told me that the prognosis was good. But by the end of my treatments, I was in deep depression.”
“I went to a Breast Cancer support group, and discovered that depression was almost an accepted way of life. The majority of the women in that group were on some sort of anti-depressants. After all I had been through, I realised that I just did not want to live my life in anxiety and fear. I had been doing a lot of reading and had heard about TM [which I decided to learn].”
“It has absolutely changed everything for me. My outlook is completely different. I’m positive; I’m happy. TM releases the stress. That’s been the key. Before I would try to laugh off the anxiety, or try to ignore it, or try to be brave- all things you try to do to manipulate the fear and try to keep going. With TM the stress is released and it’s gone. It’s been tremendously freeing.”
It had been suggested to me by my doctor who had given up trying to identify the cause of my “illness” (even now I have trouble recognising it as such). Initially, the depression worsened, and then, as quickly as it had come, it went, almost overnight.
It is nearly four years since I learned to meditate, and I am not one of those converts who preaches that it will work for everyone. But after years of living with one foot in the dark, it provided the greatest release for me.
“I learnt about TM 15 years ago. A friend I met on a train had just taken it up and I was curious. I don’t know what I was expecting but certainly not what happened, which was that after two months I could climb the stairs without taking a puff on my inhaler. I had suffered from asthma since the age of six. They said six puffs of the inhaler a day would fix it, but I was having about 20. After coping with the stairs, I left the inhaler behind when I went out. Then I went away for the weekend without it. Then I forgot about it altogether and haven’t used it for years.
This article was written by Maureen Cleave and published in SAGA Magazine