Researchers from the Department of Physiology at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala India recently conducted a meditation study observing effects on stress related chemistry. The meditation technique used in the study is called Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM). This is a proprietary system involving breath work and meditation which is unlikely to be overly unique but instructions are not freely given. Instruction must be received from any number of teachers around the world. Personally while I respect the need for teachers I am cautious of people who try to trademark and patent meditation techniques and who profit from them as such. Regardless the study stands on its own merit and the results appear to be similar to any number of other studies on the subject. I post it primarily as a reminder of the benefits of meditation.
The study recruited 150 healthy subjects which were randomized into 3 groups. One group practiced the IAM method, another progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and finally a control group. Note that this was not comparing IAM to say zazen or comparable techniques.
Blood labs were analyzed at the beginning of the study, 48 hours in, 2 months and 8 months after the first visit. From 48 hours on through the 8 months researchers found statistically significant drops in adrenaline levels in the IAM group and also noted cortisol differences. While the IAM group showed lower adrenaline rates than the other 2 groups, cortisol levels, while lower, were not statistically significant between groups.
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