Beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in subjects practicing transcendental meditation

Author: Mills PJ//Schneider RH//Hill D//Walton KG////
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093
Conference/Journal: J Psychosom Res
Date published: 1990
Other: Volume ID: 34 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 29-33 , Word Count: 128

Several studies suggest that behavioral techniques such as meditation and relaxation may be associated with reduced end organ adrenergic receptor sensitivity. Thus far the evidence supporting this hypothesis has been indirect. We present preliminary findings showing reduced beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in a group of subjects practicing Transcendental Meditation. The meditation group (N = 10), compared to controls (N = 10), had a lower percentage of functional lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptors (p = 0.009), but showed no difference in total receptor number or plasma catecholamines. There were no differences between the groups in Type A behavior, the Type A components, exercise, or family history of hypertension. The results provide some support for studies postulating that meditation is associated with reduced sympathetic adrenergic receptor sensitivity, and provide encouragement for the efficacy of receptor measurement in psychophysiology research.