Unexpected Cardiovascular Oscillations at 0.1 Hz During Slow Speech Guided Breathing (OM Chanting) at 0.05 Hz

Author: Gerard Hotho1,2, Dietrich von Bonin3,4, Daniel Krüerke2, Ursula Wolf4, Dirk Cysarz5
1 Biologisch Onderzoek Gennep, Eindhoven, Netherland.
2 Research Department, Clinic Arlesheim, Arlesheim, Switzerland.
3 Group Practice Therapeutikum, Bern, Switzerland.
4 Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerlamd.
5 Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany.
Conference/Journal: Front Physiol
Date published: 2022 May 10
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Pages: 875583 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.875583. , Word Count: 216

Slow breathing at 0.1 Hz (i.e., 6 cycles per minute, cpm) leads to strong cardiovascular oscillations. However, the impact of breathing below 6 cpm is rarely addressed. We investigated the influence of OM chanting, an ancient Indian mantra, with approx. 3 respiratory cpm (0.05 Hz) on the synchronisation of heart period (RR), respiration (RESP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Nine healthy, trained speech practitioners chanted three sequences of five subsequent OM with 2 min pauses in between. Each single OM chanting consisted of taking a deep breath and a long "OM" during expiration and lasted approx. 20 s. ECG, respiration and blood pressure were recorded continuously, of which the RR tachogram, RESP and SBP were derived. Synchronisation between the signals was computed using the phase difference between two signals. During OM chanting synchronisation among the oscillations of RR, SBP and RESP was significantly increased compared to rest. Furthermore, OM chanting at breathing frequencies between 0.046 and 0.057 Hz resulted in 0.1 Hz oscillations in RR and SBP. In conclusion, OM chanting strongly synchronized cardiorespiratory and blood pressure oscillations. Unexpected oscillations at 0.1 Hz in SBP and RR appear at breathing frequencies of approx. 0.05 Hz. Such frequency doubling may originate from an interaction of breathing frequency with endogenous Mayer waves.

Keywords: Mayer waves; OM-chanting; anthroposophic therapeutic speech; heart rate variability; slow breathing.

PMID: 35620613 PMCID: PMC9127736 DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2022.875583