A Study on Effects of Meditation on Sympathetic Nervous System Functional Status in Meditators 938-942
Dr. Desh Deepak
Associate Professor,Deptment of Physiology,
VCSG Govt Medical Sciences and Research,
Institute, Srinagar,Pin 246176 Uttarakhand, India.
Objective: Meditation has long been known to affect human physiology through autonomic nervous system. This study was designed to assess sympathetic autonomic functional status of meditators of various age groups.
Material and Methods: Three clinical tests, Isometric handgrip test,Cold pressor test and Valsalva Meneuver were studied in 25 meditators of age ranging from 25 to 75 years. The results were compared with those observed in 25 non-meditators of matching age and socio economic status.
Observation and Results: The basal cardiac parameters viz heart rate and blood pressure were uniformly lower in meditators than non meditators in all age groups, more so in senior meditators. On performing isometric handgrip test, non-meditators developed significant increase in blood pressure and heart rate during gripping than that seen in meditators. In cold pressor test, as compared to non-meditators, mediators showed blunted increase in blood pressure along with returning of blood pressure to basal level earlier, which indicated presence of controlled sympathetic drive in meditators. In Valsalva maneuver the overshoot of BP was lower in meditators than in non meditators.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the regular practice of meditation initially blunted the sympathetic drive and later on developed control over sympathetic function of meditators.