Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
Home Print this page Email this page
Users Online:130


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 146-151

Effect of advance meditation program on electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and stress level in young healthy adults


1 Department of Physiology, R.U.H.S. College of Medical Sciences, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Cardio-Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2017

Correspondence Address:
M Sharma
Department of Cardio-Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/heartindia.heartindia_23_17

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 


Background: Meditation is a mind and body practice for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Many studies have already been carried out to see the effect of Yoga, Pranayam, meditation, Sudarhan Kriya on physiological parameters, but till date, there is not a single study which shows the cumulative effect of yoga, pranayam, meditation along with sudarshankriya on physiological parameters.
Methods: This observational study was conducted in the Department of Physiology, Rajasthan University of Health Sciences, Jaipur and in association with Art of living organization. The study participants were enrolled into three groups. In the first group, 10 participants of Advance Meditation Program (AMP), who were doing this program for the first time, in second group, 10 participants who were doing AMP along with regularly practicing Padam Sadhna for at least 2 years and finally, in the third group, 10 participants who were not practicing any kind of meditation or yoga. After consent, subjects filled the Cohen's stress questionnaire. Electrocardiography (ECG) was recorded before AMP and after AMP.
Results: There was significant difference in heart rate (P = 0.002), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.028), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.005), RR interval (P = 0.020), PR interval (P = 0.040), and stress score (P = 0.027) in first time participants. Similarly, in the second group (repeaters) also significant difference was noticed.
Conclusion: AMP has its positive effects on ECG, blood pressure, and stress level. Thus, it can be considered as one of the important nonpharmacological methods for prevention of stress, anxiety, and cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Advance Meditation Program, electrocardiogram, Padam Sadhna, Sudarshan Kriya


How to cite this article:
Sharma M, Kacker S, Saboo N, Kapoor P, Sharma M. Effect of advance meditation program on electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and stress level in young healthy adults. Heart India 2017;5:146-51

How to cite this URL:
Sharma M, Kacker S, Saboo N, Kapoor P, Sharma M. Effect of advance meditation program on electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and stress level in young healthy adults. Heart India [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Jul 20];5:146-51. Available from: http://www.heartindia.net/text.asp?2017/5/4/146/221863




  Introduction Top


India is a country of enlightened Yogis and spiritual culture. Spiritual practices such as Yoga and Asana had always been an integral part of ancient Indian culture. Definition of health itself has a component of spiritual well-being.[1] Different methods of meditation are popular worldwide, i.e., transcendental meditation, Sahaj Yoga, Tibetan Buddhist meditation, etc. Meditation is a state of consciousness, characterized by marked cortical changes that are different from those in ordinary wakefulness, relaxation at rest, and sleep.[2] Yoga is a psycho-somatic-spiritual discipline for achieving union and harmony between our mind, body, and soul and the ultimate union of our individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness.[3] One of few mechanisms contributing to a state of calm alertness includes the increased parasympathetic drive.[4] By voluntarily controlling breathing patterns, it is possible to influence autonomic nervous system functions, including heart rate (HR) variability, cardiac vagal tone,[5],[6],[7] and chemoreflex sensitivity.[8]

The Art of Living Advance Meditation Program (AMP), is a residential program for a minimum of 3 days in silence, provides optimal conditions for going deep within. The practice of silence – of consciously withdrawing our energy and attention from outer distractions – has been used in different traditions throughout time as a pathway to physical, mental, and spiritual renewal. The AMP includes; rejuvenating yoga (Padam Sadhna), breathing technique-Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) and Pranayam, 3 days of guided silence practice and unique-guided meditations designed by H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living organization. The course is typically held as a residential retreat in a place of natural beauty and tranquillity.

SKY is a rhythmic breathing technique consisting of the five stages, i.e., Ujjayi, Bhastrika, Om, Sudarshan Kkriya, and Yoga Nindra.[9],[10] Ujjayi is a Sanskrit word means victory. Ujjayi is a pattern of breath which is a part of pranayam. Bhastrika is also a variant of pranayam which contains forceful inhalation and exhalation with full vital capacity. Sudarshan is a Sanskrit word which literally means “proper vision by purifying action.” SKY is a practice of wellness[11] which reduces stress, produces relaxation, and increases sensitivity in sensory transmission, leading to an increase in attention and vigilance.[10],[11] Padam Sadhna is a sequence of Asanas (Physical postures) with ujjayi breath.

In the art of living AMP-yoga, pranayam, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya are taught simultaneously to the participants and participants have to practice all; along with 3 days of guided silence. Hence, we conducted this study to evaluate the cumulative effect of yoga, pranayam, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya on physiological parameters. It is the world's first study from the best of our knowledge which shows the effect of yoga, pranayam, meditation, sudarshankriya, and silence on physiological parameter, i.e., systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and electrocardiography (ECG).


  Methods Top


This observational descriptive study was conducted in the Department of Physiology, Rajasthan University of Health Sciences, Jaipur and in association with Art of living organization. Study participants were divided into three groups. In the first group, 10 participants of AMP, who were doing this program for the first time, in the second group 10 participants who were also doing AMP and regularly practicing Padam Sadhna for at least 2 years and finally, in the third group, 10 participants who were not practicing any kind of meditation or yoga.

Inclusion criteria

  1. Age 18–40 years
  2. Pure vegetarian
  3. Those who gave consent.


Exclusion criteria

  1. Medication for any chronic illness
  2. Smokers and alcoholics
  3. Any drug addiction.


For stress score, we used Cohen's scale.

After consent, subjects filled the Cohen's stress questionnaire. Anthropometric parameters and detailed general physical examination were done. ECG was recorded by AD digital physiograph in Physiology research laboratory before AMP and after AMP and then compared the results.

Data thus collected were entered into Microsoft Excel software, and all statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Mean and standard deviations were calculated. For continuous data, Student's paired t-test and unpaired t-tests and for ordinal data Wilcoxon Rank Sum and Mann–Whitney Rank Sum tests were applied. The value of P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.


  Results Top


Study participants of all the three groups were young healthy adults having mean age of 26.1 ± 4.2, 27.1 ± 4.2, and 25.1 ± 4.4 [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic variables of study participants

Click here to view


Heart rate

Baseline mean HR showed statistically significant decrease in Group 1 (First time participants) (90.42 ± 9.93–84.54 ± 8.367, P = 0.002) [Table 2] and Group 2 (AMP repeaters/regular practitioners) (83.76 ± 8.632–75.17 ± 7.746, P = 0.031) [Table 3] after AMP. Although there was a mild decrease in mean HR in Group 3 (nonmeditators/Group 3) also that difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.901) [Table 4] and [Graph 1]. After AMP, significant difference in HR was observed in Group 1–2 (P = 0.039) [Table 5], i.e., first time participants and repeaters.
Table 2: Comparison between pre- and post-Advance Meditation Program variables in Group 1 ( first time participants)

Click here to view
Table 3: Comparison between pre- and post-Advance Meditation Program variables in Group 2 (regular meditators/art of living teachers)

Click here to view
Table 4: Comparison between pre- and post-Advance Meditation Program variables in Group 3 (nonmeditating group)

Click here to view

Table 5: Comparisons of physiological variables in all three groups

Click here to view


Systolic blood pressure

After AMP, statistically significant decrease in SBP was observed both in Group 1 (122.5 ± 6.267–118.2 ± 3.027, P = 0.028) [Table 2] and Group 2 (123.7 ± 5.854–116.7 ± 4.321, P = 0.002) [Table 3]. In Group 3, decrease in SBP was not statistically significant (P = 0.634) [Table 4] and [Graph 2]. After intervention, there was significant difference in SBP in Group 1–3 (P = 0.037) and Group 2–3 (P = 0.048). The difference in SBP in Group 1 and 2 was not significant (P = 0.409) [Table 5] as Group 2 is already practicing Sudharshankriya for at least 2 years so their HR is already decreased and SBP of Group 1 decreased after AMP.



Diastolic blood pressure

DBP was significantly decreased after AMP in Group 1 (84.86 ± 3.976–80.29 ± 3.546, P = 0.005) [Table 2] and Group 2 (81.83 ± 4.021–78.67 ± 2.066, P = 0.042) [Table 3]. No significant difference was found in Group 3 (P = 0.208) [Table 4] and [Graph 3]. After AMP significant difference was observed in Group 2 and 3 (P = 0.036). The difference in DBP in Group 1–2 and 1–3 was not statistically significant [Table 5].



RR interval

While recording ECG, RR interval was significantly increased after AMP in Group 1 (0.66 ± 0.049–0.73 ± 0.047, P = 0.020) [Table 2] and Group 2 (0.71 ± 0.074–0.80 ± 0.061, P = 0.045) [Table 3]. In Group 3, there was no significant change in RR interval before (0.69 ± 0.119) and after (0.69 ± 0.106) AMP (P = 0.799) [Table 4] and [Graph 4]. After intervention, there was a significant difference in mean RR interval between 2 and Group 1 (P = 0.038). No significant difference was observed in Group 1–3 (P = 0.402) and 2–3 (0.059) [Table 5].



PR interval

Group 1 (0.13 ± 0.015–0.14 ± 0.025, P = 0.040) [Table 2] and Group 2 (0.12 ± 0.023–0.15 ± 0.024, P = 0.047) [Table 3] showed significant increase in PR interval after AMP. In Group 3, there was no significant difference in PR interval before and after AMP (P = 0.997) [Table 4] and [Graph 5]. After doing AMP significant change was not seen in PR interval in Group 1 and 2 (P = 0.505) as both the groups are the art of living followers, and Group 2 is already doing SudharshanKriya for at least 2 years. However, significant difference was observed in Group 1–3 (P = 0.036) and Group 2–3 (P = 0.009) as Group 1 and 2 participated in AMP and there PR interval raised after AMP while there was no significant change in Group 3 [Table 5].



Other electrocardiography parameters

There were no significant changes in other ECG parameters, i.e., QRS interval, QT interval, JT interval, T peak tend interval, QTc and P duration in pre- and post-AMP in all the three groups [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]. There was a significant change in QT interval in Group 2–3 after AMP (P = 0.037) [Table 5].

Stress score

Mean stress score was significantly decreased after AMP in both Group 1 (19.43 ± 3.910–11.71 ± 6.651, P = 0.027) and Group 2 (13.33 ± 4.320–9.33 ± 3.932, P = 0.046), whereas stress score of Group 3 was increased although that increase was not significant (P = 0.416) [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4] and [Graph 6]. There was a significant difference in baseline stress score in art of living teachers group and first time meditating group (P = 0.026) as art of living teachers group was regularly practicing SudarshanKriya for two or more years, and hence, their stress scores were already low as compared to first time meditators. After AMP significant difference in stress score was not found in Group 1 and 2 (P = 0.387) as stress score of Group 1 was already low and after doing AMP stress score of Group 2 was also decreased so significant difference was not observed after AMP. There was a significant difference in stress level in Group 1–3 (P = 0.040) and Group 2–3 (P = 0.005) after AMP as after doing AMP stress level of Group 1 and 2 decreased and there was no significant change in Group 3 as this group was not doing AMP [Table 5].




  Discussion Top


The study showed a significant decrease in HR in Group 1 and Group 2 after doing AMP similar to the study of Somwanshi et al.[12] in Latur, Maharastra where statistically significant (81.07 ± 4.8–73.93 ± 4.77, P < 0.0001) decrease in HR was found after 12 weeks of practice of SKY. Parmar et al.,[13] Barnes et al.,[14] Devasena and Narhare,[15] Ahmad et al.,[16] and Bharshankar et al.[17] also found similar results.[13]

We observed a significant decrease in SBP in Group 1 and 2. Similar findings were obtained in study of Somwanshi et al.[12] (127.07 ± 6.76–120.13 ± 6.8, P < 0.0001) and Parmar et al.,[13] Murugesan et al.,[18] Barnes et al.,[14] Devasena and Narhare[15] (mean SBP from 131.4 ± 10.2 to 130.3 ± 9.9) and Ahmad et al.[16]

A significant decrease in DBP was seen in our study in Group 1 and Group 2. Somwanshi et al.[12] studied on the effect of SKY on cardiorespiratory parameters and found that SKY showed statistically significant (81.07 ± 4.25–75 ± 4.25, P < 0.0001) decrease in DBP after 12 weeks of practice. Similar results were also observed by Devasena and Narhare,[15] Ahmad et al.,[16] Parmar et al.,[13] Bharshankar et al.,[17] and Gandhi and Kumar.[19] Kalwale and Shete[20] observed a significant decrease in SBP after 1 month of pranayama training, but no change in DBP. The decreased blood pressure might be associated with increased vagal tone and reduced sympathetic activity.[21]

Kharya et al.[22] studied on effect of controlled breathing exercises on the psychological status and the cardiac autonomic tone: Sudarshan Kriya and Prana-Yoga in young healthy volunteers in Dehli and found that significant improvement in stress management skills (56.7 ± 7.7–66.7 ± 6.8, P = 0.01) was also observed in SK group similar to our study where stress scores showed significant decrease after AMP in both groups.

The study showed a significant increase in R-R interval (RRI) after doing AMP in Group 1 and 2. Similar increase in mean RRI after Sahaja Yoga Meditation was observed in study of Rai et al.[23] (0.7070 ± 0.707–0.7080 ± 7.675), but this increase was not statistically significant (P = 0.910). Kharya et al.[22] also observed nonsignificant increase in the mean RRI within the group and in between the group after sudarshankriya. This may be because that we have observed the effect of AMP which includes various meditations and Padam Sadhna also along with Sudarshan Kriya while Kharya et al. studied only on Sudharshan Kriya effects.


  Conclusion Top


AMP has its positive effects on ECG, blood pressure and stress level. It can be considered as an adjunct of the medical management as well as nonpharmacological method for prevention of stress, anxiety, and cardiovascular diseases. These practices should be incorporated in the present education system for primordial prevention of these diseases and promotion of health.

Acknowledgment

The study was conducted with the help of art of living volunteers from the art of living ashram Jaipur (Rajasthan).

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Available from: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/HealthDef ine.htm. [Last assessed on 2016 Dec 12].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Lou HC, Kjaer TW, Friberg L, Wildschiodtz G, Holm S, Nowak M, et al. A 15O-H2O PET study of meditation and the resting state of normal consciousness. Hum Brain Mapp 1999;7:98-105.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Mohan M, Mahadevan SK, Balakrishnan S, Gopalakrishnan M, Prakash ES. Effect of six weeks yoga training on weight loss following step test, respiratory pressures, handgrip strength and handgrip endurance in young healthy subjects. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2008;52:164-70.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL. Sudarshan Kriya Yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression: Part I-neurophysiologic model. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11:189-201.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Fokkema DS. The psychobiology of strained breathing and its cardiovascular implications: A functional system review. Psychophysiology 1999;36:164-75.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    
6.
Lehrer P, Sasaki Y, Saito Y. Zazen and cardiac variability. Psychosom Med 1999;61:812-21.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]    
7.
Sovik R. The science of breathing – The yogic view. Prog Brain Res 2000;122:491-505.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]    
8.
Spicuzza L, Gabutti A, Porta C, Montano N, Bernardi L. Yoga and chemoreflex response to hypoxia and hypercapnia. Lancet 2000;356:1495-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]    
9.
Deepak KK. The Role of Autonomic Nervous System in Rapid Breathing Practices. Proceedings: Science of Breath. International Symposium on Sudarshan Kriya, Pranayam and Consciousness, New Delhi, All India Institute of Medical Sciences; 2002. p. 43-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Zope SA, Zope RA. Sudarshan Kriya yoga: Breathing for health. Int J Yoga 2013;6:4-10.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
11.
Agte VV, Chiplonkar SA. Sudarshankriya yoga for improving antioxidant status and reducing anxiety in adults. Altern Complement Ther 2008;14:96-100.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Somwanshi SD, Handergulle SM, Adgaonkar BD, Kolpe DV. Effect of Sudarshankriya yoga on cardiorespiratory parameters. Int J Recent Trends Sci Technol 2013;8:62-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Parmar J, Panchal P, Gohel V, Parmar N. Effect of Sudarshan Kriya (SDK) on heart rate, blood pressure & peak expiratory flow rate. Int J Res Med 2014;3:51-3.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Barnes VA, Davis HC, Murzynowski JB, Treiber FA. Impact of meditation on resting and ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate in youth. Psychosom Med 2004;66:909-14.  Back to cited text no. 14
[PUBMED]    
15.
Devasena I, Narhare P. Effect of yoga on heart rate and blood pressure and its clinical significance. Int J Biol Med Res 2011;2:750-3.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Ahmad N, Kumar Goel R, Chaudhary L. Effect of Sudarshan Kriya yoga on physiological variables in medical students. Int J Basic Appl Med Sci 2014;4:6-9.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Bharshankar JR, Bharshankar RN, Deshpande VN, Kaore SB, Gosavi GB. Effect of yoga on cardiovascular system in subjects above 40 years. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2003;47:202-6.  Back to cited text no. 17
[PUBMED]    
18.
Murugesan R, Govindarajulu N, Bera TK. Effect of selected yogic practices on the management of hypertension. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2000;44:207-10.  Back to cited text no. 18
[PUBMED]    
19.
Gandhi A, Kumar M. Comparative study of effect of pranayama and meditation practice on autonomic functions in young healthy females. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2006;52:183.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
Kalwale PK, Shete AN. Effect of different duration of pranayama on cardiovascular parameters. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2006;52:159.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
Pal GK, Velkumary S, Mohan M. Effect of short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions in normal human volunteers. Indian J Med Res 2004;120:115-21.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Kharya C, Gupta V, Deepak KK, Sagar R, Upadhyav A, Kochupillai V, et al. Effect of controlled breathing exercises on the psychological status and the cardiac autonomic tone: Sudarshan Kriya and Prana-yoga. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2014;58:211-21.  Back to cited text no. 22
[PUBMED]    
23.
Rai MS, Kattimani YR, Rai SU, Chandak M. Effect of Sahaj yoga meditation on heart rate variability. MGM J Med Sci 2016;3:126-30.  Back to cited text no. 23
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Methods
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed569    
    Printed18    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded92    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]