Autonomic Functions In Raja-yoga Meditators

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

Abstract

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*