Effects on regional cerebral blood flow of transcendental meditation

Author: Jevning R//Anand R//Biedebach M//Fernando G
Affiliation: California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA
Conference/Journal: Physiol Behav
Date published: 1996
Other: Volume ID: 59 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 399-402 , Special Notes: Clinical Trial , Word Count: 172

Previous blood flow measurements in this laboratory have indicated increased nonrenal nonhepatic blood flow during behaviorally induced rest states, especially during the stylized mental technique of transcendental meditation (TM). We have hypothesized that increased cerebral blood flow (CBF) may account for most of the increased nonrenal nonhepatic blood flow during TM. In this report we describe increased frontal and occipital CBF in TM determined by the electrical impedance plethysmographic methodology known as rheoencephalography (REG), which allows noninvasive, nondisturbing, continuous CBF monitoring. We also report high correlation between increased CBF and decreased cerebrovascular resistance (CVR) during TM, suggesting that a contributing vascular mechanism to the increased CBF may be decreased CVR. Because only a small amount of stage 1 sleep was observed during TM and because stage 1 sleep has been reported to be accompanied by decreased CBF, we believe that sleep did not contribute to the CBF increase. The data of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that blood flow changes during TM comprise a patterned response subserving needs of increased cerebral activity.