Objectives: Based on existing psychoneuroimmunological insights, the present study aimed at investigating possible effects of a single-session group mantra-meditation on salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) and affective states.
Materials and methods: A controlled pretest-posttest study enrolled 30 healthy women (mean age 44 ± 3 years) through a multi-stage random sampling method from yoga clubs in Shiraz (Feb-Dec, 2016). Subjects were randomly assigned to experimental (n = 15) and control (n = 15) groups. Participants in both the groups attended a structured introductory lecture about mantra-meditation after which those in the experimental group meditated for 20min. Saliva samples were collected after the intervention, and the participants' affective states were examined by a qualified clinical psychologist blinded to the intervention using the positive and negative affect schedule questionnaire at sequential time-points, i.e., baseline, post-meditation, and one hour later. Similar assessments were done for the control group subjects. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to test saliva samples for the IgA titer. The s-IgA and the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS) test results were statistically evaluated using an analysis of variance.
Result: The mean s-IgA titer in the experimental group at 'post-meditation' and '1-hour later' time-points were found to be statistically different from those of the control group (P < .05). In addition, results indicated a significant change in affect among experimental group subjects as compared to controls (P < .05).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that "group mantra-meditation" training even for a single session may positively influence some immunological components and improve affective states. As a simple and low-cost psychoneurobehavioral intervention, this method may offer mental-health benefits at nursing homes as well as group-therapies.
Keywords: Affects; mantra-meditation; psychoneuroimmunology; salivary immunoglobulin A.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.