Meditation research has come a long way since the first scientific study on meditation was published in a peer-reviewed journal in 1971 . That study declared the discovery of a major fourth state of consciousness— the state of restful alertness — experienced during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique.
Now there are over 1,000 published studies on various meditation practices, with over 600 studies on the TM technique alone. Many universities, medical schools and hospitals offer classes in mind-body medicine and provide training in meditation.
Nevertheless, recent press reports about a scientific review  published in JAMA Internal Medicine (January 2014) raised questions about the extent of health benefits that can be claimed for meditation. While the review has been criticized as too narrowly focused to represent the current state of meditation research — it excluded many major studies and randomized clinical trials — there is an upside: The JAMA review may prompt health professionals to look closer at meditation and discover how far the research has actually come at verifying the health benefits and specific effects of different practices.
One meditation researcher, the physician and author Robert Schneider, M.D., FACC, is currently touring universities and medical schools across the U.S. to update health scientists, physicians and students about the latest meditation research and the role of meditation in stress reduction and the prevention and treatment of heart disease. (MORE)
Source: Pysch Central