The Interrelated Physiological and Psychological Effects of EcoMeditation

J Evid Based Integr Med. Jan-Dec 2018;23:2515690X18759626. doi: 10.1177/2515690X18759626.

Abstract

This study investigated changes in psychological and physiological markers during a weekend meditation workshop (N = 34). Psychological symptoms of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and happiness were assessed. Physiological markers included cortisol, salivary immunoglobulin A (SigA), heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP), and resting heart rate (RHR). On posttest, significant reductions were found in cortisol (-29%, P < .0001), RHR (-5%, P = .0281), and pain (-43%, P = .0022). Happiness increased significantly (+11%, P = .0159) while the increase in SigA was nonsignificant (+27%, P = .6964). Anxiety, depression, and PTSD all declined (-26%, P = .0159; -32%, P = .0197; -18%, P = .1533), though changes in PTSD did not reach statistical significance. No changes were found in BP, HRV, and heart coherence. Participants were assessed for psychological symptoms at 3-month follow-up, but the results were nonsignificant due to inadequate sample size (n = 17). EcoMeditation shows promise as a stress-reduction method.

Keywords: EcoMeditation; anxiety; depression; group therapy; meditation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / metabolism
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Depression / metabolism
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / metabolism
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / metabolism
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*

Substances

  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Hydrocortisone