Transcendental Meditation

Study on catecholamine levels

Title: Catecholamine levels in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique

Authors: Infante, J.R., Torres-Avisbal, M., Pinel, P., Vallejo, J.A., Peran, F., Gonzalez, F., Contreras, P., Pacheco, C., Roldan, A., Latre, J.M.

Published: Physicology and Behavior, 2001 Jan; vol 72(1-2):141-6.

Methods: With the aim of evaluating the sympathetic-adrenal medulla system in subjects practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), their plasma catecholamine levels were determined at two different times of day. The study group consisted of 19 subjects who regularly practice either Transcendental Meditation or Sidhi-TM technique, with a control group made up of 16 healthy subjects who had not previously used any relaxation technique. Catecholamine plasma levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography, at 0900 and 2000 h.

Results: Morning and evening norepinephrine (NE) levels and morning epinephrine (E) levels were significantly lower in the TM group than in the control subjects (morning NE levels, pg/ml, mean+/-S.E.: Transcendental Meditation group 136.6+/-13.0, control 236.8+/-21.0, P=.0001; evening NE levels: Transcendental Meditation group 119.7+/-10.8, control 175.6+/-17.4, P=.009; morning E levels, pg/ml: Transcendental Meditation group 140.2+/-10.6, control 196.7+/-23.8, P=.019). No differences were recorded for evening E levels and dopamine (DA) levels. No significant differences were found for catecholamine levels measured at different times of day in the TM group, demonstrating a lack of daily hormonal rhythm. Anxiety levels were similar in both groups. Based on the results obtained, it can be considered that the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation has a significant effect on the sympathetic-adrenal medulla system. A low hormonal response to daily stress caused by sympathetic tone regulation through regular Transcendental Meditation could explain our results, as well as the physiological and other effects related to the field of health described in those who practice meditation.

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