Decreased Alcohol Intake Associated with the Practice of Meditation: A Retrospective Investigation

Authors
Herbert Benson
Publication
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 233, Issue 1
Abstract

A wakeful hypometabolic state accompanies the practice of a relaxational, meditation technique called Transcendental Meditation. The state is characterized by decreased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide elimination, respiratory rate and minute ventilation, with no change in respiratory quotient. Arterial blood pH and base excess decrease slightly while arterial blood lactate markedly decreases. Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures remain unchanged. The electroencephelogram shows an increase in intensity of slow alpha waves and occasional theta wave activity. These physiologic changes differ from those occurring during sleep and are hypothesized to represent activation of an integrated hypothalmic response, which is associated with decreased sympathetic nervous system activity.

A previously reported retrospective investigation noted decreased drug abuse and alcoholic intake associated with the practice of meditation. A portion of these same data are again reported.

Related Listings
Decreased blood pressure in borderline hyperten...
Authors
Herbert Benson, Bernard A Rosner, Barbara R Marzetta, Helen P Klemchuck
Journal
Journal of Chronic Diseases
·
A prospective investigation was designed to test whether the altered behavior of the regular practice of a relaxation, meditational technique might lower blood pressure in 22 borderline hypertensive subjects. The investigation was unbiased with regard to the presence of antihypertensive agents; subject familiarity with blood pressure measurement or with the observer; observer error; and the effects of blood pressure variability. During the control period, blood pressures averaged 146. […]
The Usefulness of he Relaxation Response in the...
Authors
Herbert Benson, M.D., Helen P Klemchuck, A.B., John R Grapham, M.D.
Journal
Headache, the Journal of Head and Face Pain
·
PHYSIOLOGIC CHANGES consistent with the decreased sympathetic nervous system activity are present during the practice of a relaxation technique, Transcendental Meditation. The changes consist of decreased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide elimination, respiratory rate and minute ventilation. Arterial blood lactate decreases markedly. Arterial blood pH and base excess decrease slightly. There are no changes in arterial blood pressure, in respiratory quotient, nor in rectal temperature […]
Increases in positive psychological characteris...
Authors
Herbert Benson, Arthur Kornhaber, Carol Kornhaber, Mila N. LeChanu
Journal
Journal of Research and Development in Education
Evaluated self-esteem and locus of control in a group of high school students prior to, during, and following a single academic year. Using a randomized, crossover experimental design, 26 Ss were exposed to either a health curriculum based on elicitation of the relaxation response (RLR) and then a follow-up period, while 24 were assigned to a control health curriculum and then the RLR. Psychological testing was conducted using the Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Scale and the Now […]