Autonomic Functions In Raja-yoga Meditators

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct-Dec 2015;59(4):396-401.


Stress, an inevitable and constant feature throughout the lifetime, induces autonomic dysfunctions, for which meditation is considered to be an antidote. So the case control study was planned including 50 Raja-yoga meditators practicing meditation for 5 years and 50 age matched non-meditators. Autonomic function tests were performed and results were compared using the Student-t test. Mean values of resting HR, SBP and DBP were less in meditators. Galvanic Skin Response in meditators was significantly more (p < 0.001). Mean increase BP response to Hand Grip Test and Cold Pressor Test was significantly less in meditators than non-meditators (p < 0.001). Standing: Lying ratio, Valsalva ratio, Inspiration: Expiration ratio and 30:15 ratios were significantly increased in meditators than non-meditators. From the results, there was shifting of the autonomic balance to parasympathetic side in Raja-yoga meditators, which suggests its utility to combat the ill effects of stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular System / innervation*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exhalation
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response
  • Hand Strength
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Inhalation
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Skin / innervation*
  • Skin Temperature
  • Supine Position
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Valsalva Maneuver
  • Yoga*