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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 5, 2015

Cumulative effect of short-term and long-term meditation practice in men and women on psychophysiological parameters of electrophotonic imaging: a cross-sectional study

Guru Deo ORCID logo, Itagi R. Kumar, Thaiyar M. Srinivasan and Kuldeep K. Kushwah

Abstract

Background: Anapanasati is one of the meditation techniques discussed in Buddhism. In this meditation, one focuses one’s attention on bodily sensations caused by incoming and outgoing breath. This study aims to track the cumulative effect of long-term meditators (LTM) and short-term meditators (STM) using electrophotonic imaging (EPI).

Methods: To execute the current study, 432 subjects (264 men and 168 women with mean age of 34.36±6.83) were recruited from two meditation centers. LTM had practiced for more than 60 months (mean of months 111±47·20,hoursperday1·71±1·20). STM had practiced meditation from 6 months to less than 60 months (mean of months 37.17±19·44,hoursperday2·14±4·99). A cross-sectional research design was applied and data was collected using EPI. Scatter plot and Fisher discriminant model were also used for statistical presentation of values and interdependency of variables with length of practice between groups.

Results: In both LTM and STM, lower values of stress (activation coefficient) were found in woman meditators as compared to men. In both groups, highly significant gender-related differences were observed in integral area parameter, which measures the overall health of an individual. Integral entropy (index of disorderliness of subtle energy in the body) was fluctuating in both groups in both directions for both genders. It was increasing in LTM group and decreasing in STM group with increasing length of practice.

Conclusions: Women of LTM and STM demonstrated lesser stress than men. Both groups showed cumulative health-related improvement. Moreover, in gender-related analysis woman meditators exhibited more positive improvement in EPI parameters than men.

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

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Received: 2015-7-5
Accepted: 2015-9-22
Published Online: 2015-11-5
Published in Print: 2016-3-1

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