Meditation and Blood Pressure: Ameta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

Document Type


Publication Date



Objectives: We meta-Analyzed the effect of meditation on blood pressure (BP), including both transcendental meditation and non-Transcendental meditation interventions. Methods: We identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the BP responses to meditation interventions through a systematic literature search of the PubMed, ABI/INFORM, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases (from January 1980 to October 2015). We meta-Analyzed the change in SBP and DBP, stratified by type of meditation (transcendental meditation vs. nontranscendental meditation intervention) and by type of BP measurement [ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) vs. non-ABPM measurement]. Results: Nineteen studies met the eligibility criteria. Among the studies using the ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate was-2.49mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI):-7.51, 2.53] for transcendental meditation intervention (statistically insignificant) and-3.77mmHg (95% CI:-5.33,-2.21) for nontranscendental meditation interventions, whereas the pooled DBP effect estimate was-4.26mmHg (95% CI:-6.21,-2.31) for transcendental meditation interventions and-2.18mmHg (95% CI:-4.28,-0.09) for nontranscendental meditation interventions. Among the studies using the non-ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate from transcendental meditation interventions was-5.57mmHg (95% CI:-7.41,-3.73) and was-5.09mmHg with non-Transcendental meditation intervention (95% CI:-6.34,-3.85), whereas the pooled effect size in DBP change for transcendental meditation interventions was-2.86mmHg (95% CI:-4.27,-1.44) and was-2.57mmHg (95% CI:-3.36,-1.79) for nontranscendental meditation interventions. Conclusion: Non-Transcendental meditation may serve as a promising alternative approach for lowering both SBP and DBP. More ABPM-measured transcendental meditation interventions might be needed to examine the benefit of transcendental meditation intervention on SBP reduction.