Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 213-221

First online:

Hemodynamic Changes During Long Meditation

  • Erik E. SolbergAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Ullevål University Hospital Email author 
  • , Øivind EkebergAffiliated withDepartment of Acute Medicine, Ullevål University Hospital
  • , Are HolenAffiliated withInstitute of Neuroscience, NTNU
  • , Frank IngjerAffiliated withThe Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education
  • , Leiv SandvikAffiliated withCenter for Clinical Research
  • , Per A. StandalAffiliated withDepartment of Hematology, The National Hospital
  • , Agneta VikmanAffiliated withDepartment of Occupational Health, Norden Bedriftservice

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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.

blood pressure heart rate meditation relaxation