Study of impact of transcendental meditation on reaction time and cardiovascular parameters in young healthy volunteers

Unaiza Azmi, Neeta Iyer, Tanzeem Azmi


Background: Transcendental meditation technique is purported to help treat high blood pressure, chronic pain, insomnia, and many other physical ailments. The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of transcendental meditation on reaction time and cardiovascular parameters in young healthy volunteers.

Methods: In this single centre, randomized, controlled study, 120 1st year M.B.B.S and OTPT students were recruited and put into two groups [control (60), experiment (60)]. Simple Auditory Reaction Time (ART) and Visual Reaction Time (VRT), along with Heart Rate (HR) and Blood Pressure (BP), of all subjects were recorded and compared. The experimental group participated in 16 weeks of TM programme and performed TM twice in a day, for 20 minutes, sitting comfortably with eyes closed and chanting OM. Control group were only made to sit with eyes closed during the same time. Keeping all the variables constant, all the parameters were measured again after 16 weeks.

Results: There was significant reduction in all parameters (ART, VRT, HR, systolic BP and diastolic BP) in experimental group after 16 weeks of TM as compared to control group. ART was significantly shorter than VRT in both experimental and control groups and this difference was maintained after the intervention also.

Conclusions: Transcendental meditation is an effective technique for reducing cardiovascular risk and can be prescribed to pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients for stress reduction, along with medications for better results.


Auditory reaction time, Cardiovascular risk, Transcendental meditation, Visual reaction time

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