To examine the extent to which advanced meditative practices might alter body metabolism and the electroencephalogram (EEG), we investigated three Tibetan Buddhist monks living in the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, India. In a study carried out in February 1988, we found that during the practice of several different meditative practices, resting metabolism ([Vdot]O2) could be both raised (up to 61%) and lowered (down to 64%). The reduction from rest is the largest ever reported. On the EEG, marked asymmetry in alpha and beta activity between the hemispheres and increased beta activity were present. From these three case reports, we conclude that advanced meditative practices may yield different alterations in metabolism (there are also forms of meditation that increase metabolism) and that the decreases in metabolism can be striking.
Volume 16, Issue 2
AAAS Eureka Alert
Researchers identified genes and biological pathways linked to immune regulation, metabolism, and circadian rhythm in people who reduced their hypertension after eight-week relaxation response training
Recently, much scientific attention has been focused on resting brain activity and its investigation through such methods as the analysis of functional connectivity during rest (the temporal correlation of brain activities in different regions). However, investigation of the magnitude of brain activity during rest has focused on the relative decrease of brain activity during a task, rather than on the absolute resting brain activity. It is thus necessary to investigate the association […]
Journal of Human Stress
The efficacy of the regular elicitation of the relaxation response in reducing surgical anxiety and pain in an ambulatory surgery setting was studied in a population of patients scheduled for the surgical removal of a skin cancer. Forty-nine patients with skin cancer were enrolled in the study immediately after being informed of the ned for surgery; 21 of these patients elicited the relaxation response 20 minutes per day until the day of surgery, 21 read for 20 minutes per day, and 7 […]