Schneider RH, Nidich SI, Salerno JW, Sharma HM, Robinson CE, Nidich RJ, Alexander CN
60 (1): 38-41 JAN-FEB 1998
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 45 Times Cited: 17
Objective: Oxidative stress or free radical activity may contribute to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases associated with aging. Because psychosocial stress has been shown to increase oxidative stress, we conducted an exploratory study to investigate the effects of stress reduction with the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program on serum lipid peroxide levels In elderly subjects. Method: Forty-one normally healthy subjects (aged 56 to 74 years, average 67 years) were recruited from the same Midwest city. Eighteen were long-term practitioners of the TM program (average 16.5 years.). Twenty-three controls were nor practicing a formal stress management technique. Venous blood samples were analyzed for lipid peroxides by the TEARS assay. A dietary questionnaire was used to assess fat intake, red meat consumption, antioxidant vitamin supplementation, and smoking. Differences between groups and subgroups were analyzed by t test, and correlations. Results: Significantly lower serum levels of lipid peroxides were found in the TM practitioners compared with controls (-15%, p = .026). No significant differences were found between groups on smoking, fat intake, or vitamin supplementation. TM practitioners also had lower red meat consumption but matched subgroup analysis and partial correlations did not confirm a relationship between red meat intake and lipid peroxide levels. Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that lower serum lipid peroxide levels may be associated with stress reduction using the Transcendental Meditation technique. Prospective controlled trials are needed to confirm that this effect is because of TM practice rather than other lifestyle factors, such as diet.
Kubota Y, Sato W, Toichi M, Murai T, Okada T, Hayashi A, Sengoku A
COGNITIVE BRAIN RESEARCH
11 (2): 281-287 APR 2001
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 67 Times Cited: 16
Frontal midline theta rhythm (Fm theta), recognized as distinct theta activity on EEG in the frontal midline area, reflects mental concentration as well as meditative state or relief from anxiety. Attentional network in anterior frontal lobes including anterior cingulate cortex is suspected to be the generator of this activity, and the regulative function of the frontal neural network over autonomic nervous system (ANS) during cognitive process is suggested. However no studies have examined peripheral autonomic activities during Fm theta induction, and interaction of central and peripheral mechanism associated with Fm theta remains unclear. In the present study, a standard procedure of Zen meditation requiring sustained attention and breath control was employed as the task to provoke Fm theta, and simultaneous EEC and ECG recordings were performed. For the subjects in which Fm theta activities were provoked (six men, six women, 48% of the total subjects), peripheral autonomic activities were evaluated during the appearance of Fm theta as well as during control periods. Successive inter-beat intervals were measured from the EGG, and a recently developed method of analysis by Toichi et al. (J. Auton. Nerv. Syst. 62 (1997) 79-84) based on heart rate variability was used to assess cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic functions separately. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic indices were increased during the appearance of Fm theta compared with control periods. Theta band activities in the frontal area were correlated negatively with sympathetic activation. The results suggest a close relationship between cardiac autonomic function and activity of medial frontal neural circuitry
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Davis H
JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATIC RESEARCH
51 (4): 597-605 OCT 2001
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 68 Times Cited: 14
Objective: This study examined the impact of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program on cardiovascular (CV) reactivity in adolescents with high normal blood pressure (BP). Method: Thirty-five adolescents [34 African Americans (AAs), I Caucasian American (CA); ages 15-18 years] with resting systolic blood pressure (SEP) between the 85th and 95th percentile for their age and gender on three consecutive occasions, were randomly assigned to either TM (n = 17) or health education control (CTL, n = 18) groups. The TM group engaged in 15-min meditation twice each day for 2 months including sessions during school lunch break. Primary CV outcome measures were changes in BP, heart rate (HR), and cardiac output (CO) at rest and in response to two laboratory stressors, a simulated car driving stressor and an interpersonal social stressor interview. Results: The TM group exhibited greater decreases in resting SBP (P < .03) from pre- to postintervention, compared to the CTL group. The TM group exhibited greater decreases from pre- to postintervention in SBP, HR, and CO reactivity (P's < .03) to the simulated car driving stressor, and in SBP reactivity (P < .03) to the social stressor interview. Conclusion: The TM program appears to have a beneficial impact upon CV functioning at rest and during acute laboratory stress in adolescents at-risk for hypertension.
Lehmann D, Faber PL, Achermann P, Jeanmonod D, Gianotti LRR, Pizzagalli D
108 (2): 111-121 NOV 30 2001
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 48 Times Cited: 12
Multichannel EEG of an advanced meditator was recorded during four different, repeated meditations. Locations of intracerebral source gravity centers as well as Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) functional images of the EEG 'gamma' (35-44 Hz) frequency band activity differed significantly between meditations. Thus, during volitionally self-initiated, altered states of consciousness that were associated with different subjective meditation states, different brain neuronal populations were active. The brain areas predominantly involved during the self-induced meditation states aiming at visualization (right posterior) and verbalization (left central) agreed with known brain functional neuroanatomy. The brain areas involved in the self-induced, meditational dissolution and reconstitution of the experience of the self (right fronto-temporal) are discussed in the context of neural substrates implicated in normal self-representation and reality testing, as well as in depersonalization disorders and detachment from self after brain lesions.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY
42 (1): 1-9 AUG 2001
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 46 Times Cited: 10
This study compared EEG and autonomic patterns during transcending to 'other' experiences during Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice. To correlate specific meditation experiences with physiological measures, the experimenter rang a bell three times during the TM session. Subjects categorized their experiences around each bell ring. Transcending, in comparison to 'other' experiences during TM practice, was marked by: (1) significantly lower breath rates; (2) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia amplitudes; (3) higher EEG alpha amplitude; and (4) higher alpha coherence. In addition, skin conductance responses to the experimenter-initiated bell rings were larger during transcending. These findings suggest that monitoring patterns of physiological variables may index dynamically changing inner experiences during meditation practice. This could allow a more precise investigation into the nature of meditation experiences and a more accurate comparison of meditation states with other eyes-closed conditions
Infante JR, Torres-Avisbal M, Pinel P, Vallejo JA, Peran F, Gonzalez F, Contreras P, Pacheco C, Roldan A, Latre JM
PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR
72 (1-2): 141-146 JAN 2001
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 43 Times Cited: 9
With the aim of evaluating the sympathetic-adrenal medulla system in subjects practicing transcendental meditation (TM), their plasma catecholamine levels were determined at two different times of day. The study group consisted of 19 subjects who regularly practice either TM or Sidhi-TM technique, with a control group made up of 16 healthy subjects who had not previously used any relaxation technique. Catecholamine plasma levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography, at 0900 and 2000 h. Morning and evening norepinephrine (NE) levels and morning epinephrine (E) levels were significantly lower in the TM group than in the control subjects (moming NE levels, pg/ml, mean +/- S.E.: TM group 136.6 +/- 13.0, control 236.8 +/- 21.0, P=.0001; evening NE levels: TM group 119.7 +/- 10.8, control 175.6 +/- 17.4, P=.009; morning E levels, pg/ml: TM group 140.2 +/- 10.6, control 196.7 +/- 23.8, P=.019). No differences were recorded for evening E levels and dopamine (DA) levels. No significant differences were found for catecholamine levels measured at different times of day in the TM group, demonstrating a lack of daily hormonal rhythm. Anxiety levels were similar in both groups. Based on the results obtained, it can be considered that the regular practice of TM has a significant effect on the sympathetic-adrenal medulla system. A low hormonal response to daily stress caused by sympathetic tone regulation through regular TM could explain our results, as well as the physiological and other effects related to the field of health described in those who practice meditation
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Johnson MH
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HYPERTENSION
17 (4): 366-369 APR 2004
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 15 Times Cited: 6
The objective of this study was to determine the impact of stress reduction on blood pressure (BP) in adolescents by the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program. African-American adolescents (aged 16.2 +/- 1.3 years) with high normal systolic BP were randomly assigned to either 4-month TM (n = 50) or health education control (n = 50) groups. Ambulatory 24-h BP measures were recorded at pretest, 2- and 4-month post-tests, and 4-month follow-up. Greater decreases in daytime systolic BP (P < .04) and diastolic BP (P < .06) in the TM group compared with the control group across the visits demonstrate a beneficial impact of the TM program in youth at risk for the development of hypertension.
Walton KG, Schneider RH, Nidich SI, Salerno JW, Nordstrom CK, Merz CNB
28 (3): 106-123 FAL 2002
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 74 Times Cited: 6
Psychosocial stress is a nontraditional risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that may respond to behavioral or psychosocial interventions. To date, studies applying such interventions have reported a wide range of success rates in treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The authors focus on a natural medicine approach that research indicates reduces both psychosocial and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease-the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program. Randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and other controlled studies indicate this meditation technique reduces risk factors and can slow or reverse the progression of pathophysiological changes underlying cardiovascular disease. Studies with this technique have revealed reductions in blood pressure, carotid artery intima-media thickness, myocardial ischemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, mortality, and other relevant outcomes. The magnitudes of these effects compare favorably with those of conventional interventions for secondary prevention.
Tooley GA, Armstrong SM, Norman TR, Sali A
53 (1): 69-78 MAY 2000
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 46 Times Cited: 6
To determine whether a period of meditation could influence melatonin levels, two groups of meditators were tested in a repeated measures design for changes in plasma melatonin levels at midnight. Experienced meditators practising either TM-Sidhi or another internationally well known form of yoga showed significantly higher plasma melatonin levels in the period immediately following meditation compared with the same period at the same time on a control night. It is concluded that meditation, at least in the two forms studied here, can affect plasma melatonin levels. It remains to be determined whether this is achieved through decreased hepatic metabolism of the hormone or via a direct effect on pineal physiology. Either way, facilitation of higher physiological melatonin levels at appropriate times of day might be one avenue through which the claimed health promoting effects of meditation occur.
Ketosis with enhanced GABAergic tone promotes physiological changes in transcendental meditation
Elias AN, Guich S, Wilson AF
54 (4): 660-662 APR 2000
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 22 Times Cited: 6
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a stylized form of physical and mental relaxation which is associated with changes in the secretion and release of several pituitary hormones. The hormonal changes induced by TM mimic the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is hypothesized that TM produces changes in pituitary hormone secretion by enhancing hypothalamic GABAergic tone as a result of TM associated ketosis. Ketosis enhances the entry of glutamate, the amino acid substrate of GABA into synaptosomes, making more glutamate available for conversion to GABA through the glutamate decarboxylase pathway.
Hyde ST, Larsson AK, Di Matteo T, Ramsden S, Robins V
AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY
56 (10): 981-1000 2003
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 40 Times Cited: 5
A non-technical account of the links between two-dimensional (2D) hyperbolic and three-dimensional (3D) euclidean symmetric patterns is presented, with a number of examples from both spaces. A simple working hypothesis is used throughout the survey: simple, highly symmetric patterns traced in hyperbolic space lead to chemically relevant structures in euclidean space. The prime examples in the former space are derived from Felix Klein's engraving of the modular group structure within the hyperbolic plane; these include various tilings, networks and trees. Disc packings are also derived. The euclidean examples are relevant to condensed atomic and molecular materials in solid-state chemistry and soft-matter structural science. They include extended nets of relevance to covalent frameworks, simple ( lattice) sphere packings, and interpenetrating extended frameworks ( related to novel coordination polymers). Limited discussion of the projection process from 2D hyperbolic to 3D euclidean space via mapping onto triply periodic minimal surfaces is presented.
The neural basis of the complex mental task of meditation: neurotransmitter and neurochemical considerations
Newberg AB, Iversen J
61 (2): 282-291 AUG 2003
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 77 Times Cited: 5
Meditation is a complex mental process involving changes in cognition, sensory perception, affect, hormones, and autonomic activity. Meditation has also become widely used in psychological and medical practices for stress management as well as a variety of physical and mental disorders. However, until now, there has been limited understanding of the overall biological mechanism of these practices in terms of the effects in both the brain and body. We have previously described a rudimentary neuropsychological model to explain the brain mechanisms underlying meditative experiences. This paper provides a substantial development by integrating neurotransmitter systems and the results of recent brain imaging advances into the model. The following is a review and synthesis of the current literature regarding the various neurophysiological mechanisms and neurochemical substrates that underlie the complex processes of meditation. It is hoped that this model will provide hypotheses for future biological and clinical studies of meditation.
Increased dopamine tone during meditation-induced change of consciousness
Kjaer TW, Bertelsen C, Piccini P, Brooks D, Alving J, Lou HC
COGNITIVE BRAIN RESEARCH
13 (2): 255-259 APR 2002
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 18 Times Cited: 5
This is the first in vivo demonstration of an association between endogenous neurotransmitter release and conscious experience. Using C-11-raclopride PET we demonstrated increased endogenous dopamine release in the ventral striatum during Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra is characterized by a depressed level of desire for action, associated with decreased blood flow in prefrontal. cerebellar and subcortical regions, structures thought to be organized in open loops subserving executive control. In the striatum. dopamine modulates excitatory glutamatergic synapses of the projections from the frontal cortex to striatal neurons. which in turn project back to the frontal cortex via the pallidum and ventral thalamus. The present study was designed to investigate whether endogenous dopamine release increases during loss of executive control in meditation, Participants underwent two C-11-raclopride PET scans: one while attending to speech with eyes closed, and one during active meditation. The tracer competes with endogenous dopamine for access to dopamine D2 receptors predominantly found in the basal ganglia. During meditation, C-11-raclopride binding in ventral striatum decreased by 7.9%. This corresponds to a 65% increase in endogenous dopamine release. The reduced raclopride binding correlated significantly with a concomitant increase in EEG theta activity, a characteristic feature of meditation. All participants reported a decreased desire for action during meditation, along with heightened sensory imagery. The level of gratification and the depth of relaxation did not differ between the attention and meditation conditions. Here we show increased striatal dopamine release during meditation associated with the experience of reduced readiness for action. It is suggested that being in the conscious state of meditation causes a suppression of cortico-striatal glutamatergic transmission. To our knowledge this is the first time in vivo evidence has been provided for regulation of conscious states at a synaptic level
Astin JA, Berman BM, Bausell B, Lee WL, Hochberg M, Forys KL
JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY
30 (10): 2257-2262 OCT 2003
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 23 Times Cited: 4
Objective. To test the short and longterm benefits of an 8 week mind-body intervention that combined training in mindfulness meditation with Qigong movement therapy for individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM).
Methods. A total of 128 individuals with FM were randomly assigned to the mind-body training program or an education support group that served as the control. Outcome measures were pain, disability (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire), depression, myalgic score (number and severity of tender points), 6 minute walk time, and coping strategies, which were assessed at baseline and at 8, 16, and 24 weeks.
Results. Both groups registered statistically significant improvements across time for the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Total Myalgic Score, Pain, and Depression, and no improvement in the number of feet traversed in the 6 minute walk. However, there was no difference in either the rate or magnitude of these changes between the mind-body training group and the education control group. Salutary changes occurring by the eighth week (which corresponded to the end of the mind-body and education control group sessions) were largely maintained by both groups throughout the 6 month followup period.
Conclusion. While both groups showed improvement on a number of outcome variables, there was no evidence that the multimodal mind-body intervention for FM was superior to education and support as a treatment option. Additional randomized controlled trials are needed before interventions of this kind can be recommended for treatment of FM.
Barnes VA, Davis HC, Murzynowski JB, Treiber FA
66 (6): 909-914 NOV-DEC 2004
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 44 Times Cited: 1
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a meditation program on resting and ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate in youth. Methods: Data from 73 middle school students (age 12.3 +/- 0.6 years) randomly assigned by classroom to either meditation (N = 34) or health education control (N = 39) groups were analyzed. The meditation groups engaged in 10-minute sessions at school and at home after school each day for 3 months. Resting (seated) systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate measurements were obtained pretest and posttest on three consecutive school days using Dinamap 1846SX monitors. Ambulatory systolic blood pressure, ambulatory diastolic blood pressure, and ambulatory heart rate were recorded over 24-hour periods at pretest and posttest every 20 minutes during self-reported normal waking hours and every 30 minutes during self-reported normal sleep hours using Spacelabs 90207 monitors. Results: Significant (P < .05) differences in average change from pretest to posttest were found between the meditation and health eduction control groups for resting systolic blood pressure (-2.7 vs. 1.1 mm Hg), daytime ambulatory systolic blood pressure after school (-2.0 vs. 3.6 mm Hg), daytime ambulatory diastolic blood pressure after school (0.1 vs. 4.3 mm Hg), and daytime ambulatory heart rate after school (-5.3 vs. 0.3 bpm). Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the potential beneficial impact of meditation on blood pressure and heart rate in the natural environment in healthy normotensive youth
Yu T, Tsai HL, Hwang ML
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CHINESE MEDICINE
31 (3): 499-507 2003
Document type: Article Language: English Cited References: 33 Times Cited: 1
Human prostate cancer PO cells were treated in vitro with psychosomatic power emitted by a Buddhist-Zen Master. A significant decrease of growth rate was observed as determined by MTT assay after 48 hours. These cells also had two- to three-fold higher levels of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAcP) activity, a prostate tissue-specific differentiation antigen. In addition, the treated cells formed fewer and smaller colonies in soft agar as compared with control cells, which displayed anchorage-independent growth. These observations provide insight into the suppressive effects of healing power through the practice of Buddhist-Zen meditation on tumor progression. The emitted bioenergy may be suggested as an alternative and feasible approach for cancer research and patient treatment. Keywords: Cancer; Complementary and Alternative Medicine;