TM and reduced health care costs

50% reduced medical care utilisation for TM practitioners

Researchers analysed data from a nation-wide US health insurance company. The study looked at the medical utilisation record of 2,000 policy holders who practised TM compared with a matching control group of about 4,000 non-meditators also drawn from the 600,000 policy holders. It was found that on average the meditating group went to hospital either for treatment or surgery 56% less often than the control group. (p<0.0001)

The TM policy holder group also needed 44% fewer doctors visits.

The findings were consistent across 17 different health categories including the following:

Health category Reduction in medical utlisation
Heart disease 87.3%
Tumours 55.4%
Infectious diseases 30.4%
Mental disorders 30.6%
Disorders of the nervous system 87.3%

The largest contrast in healthcare utilisation came in the over 40s age category with meditators over 40 having a decrease from the norm of 69.4% of time spent in hospital and a 73.7% reduction in doctors' visits. (See chart below)

Hospitalisation   Less doctors visits
Bar chart showing decreased hospitalisation for the group of TM practitioners  

Bar chart showing decreased doctors visits for the group of TM practitioners

Research reference: DW Orme-Johnson, Medical care utilization and the Transcendental Meditation program, Psychosomatic Medicine 1987, 49:493-507. A retrospective study was published in The American Journal of Managed Care Vol 3 No 1 January 1997

Quebec study shows 36% reduction in health care costs with TM

In another study researchers analysed monthly physicians’ expenses for the period 1981-1990 for 599 TM meditators in Quebec.

Findings: The study showed that for 3 years prior to learning TM, subjects had identical levels of health costs to others of the same age and sex. For 3 years after learning TM, overall costs declined 36% (12.4% annually).

For high costs subjects, medical expenses declined 54% (18% annually).

For the over 50’s, costs declined 57% (19% annually)

Research reference: The impact of transcendental meditation practice on Medical expenditure published in Dissertation Abstracts International: Issue 12, Book A, Vol 53 - June 1993.


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