, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 213-221

Hemodynamic Changes During Long Meditation

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Changes in heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) in advanced male meditators during 1 hr of meditation were compared with matched control participants resting for 1 hr. Also, changes in HR and BP during 3-hr meditation were analyzed. HR was recorded continuously during meditation (n = 38) and the control rest (n = 21). BP was measured before and after the meditation (n = 44) and the rest (n = 30). During the first hour, HR declined more in the meditators than the controls (p < .01). Within participant variability of HR was significantly lower during meditation than rest (p < .05). In the second hour of meditation, HR declined further (p = .01). BP was unaffected by either meditation or rest. In conclusion, meditation reduced the level of HR and within participant variability of HR more than rest. HR continued to decline during the second hour of meditation.