Navigation Links
Transcendental Meditation buffers students against college stress: Study
Date:2/24/2009

Research at American University shows meditating students react better to stress, are less fatigued, have more 'integrated' brains

Transcendental Meditation may be an effective non-medicinal tool for students to buffer themselves against the intense stresses of college life, according to a new study to be published in the February 24 issue of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Psychophysiology.

"Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on brain functioning and stress reactivity in college students" is the first random assignment study of the effects of meditation practice on brain and physiological functioning in college students.

The study was a collaboration between the American University Department of Psychology in Washington, D.C., and the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The study investigated the effects of 10-weeks of Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice on "Brain Integration Scale" scores (broadband frontal coherence, power ratios, and preparatory brain responses), electrodermal habituation to a stressful stimulus, and sleepiness in 50 students from American University and other Washington, D.C., area universities.

Physiological and psychological variables were measured at pretest; students were then randomly assigned to a TM or control group. Posttest was 10 weeks laterjust before final exam week. At posttest, the meditating students had higher Brain Integration Scale scores, less sleepiness, and faster habituation to a loud tonethey were less jumpy and irritable.

"The pressures of college can be overwhelming44% of college students binge drink, 37% report use of illegal drugs, 19% report clinical depression, and 13% report high levels of anxiety," said Fred Travis, lead author and director of the MUM brain research center.

Travis said the data from the non-meditating control group showed the detrimental effects of college life on the students. "The control group had lower Brain Integration Scale scores, indicating their brain functioning was more fragmentedwhich can lead to more scattered and disorganized thinking and planning. The controls also showed an increase in sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness, which can correspond to greater anxiety, worry and irritability" he said.

In contrast, Transcendental Meditation practice appeared to buffer the effects of high stress.

"From pretest to posttest, Brain Integration Scale scores increased significantly, indicating greater breadth of planning, thinking, and perception of the environment. The sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness decreased among the TM group, which corresponds to greater emotional balance and wakefulness.

"These statistically significant results among college students suggest that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique could be of substantial value for anyone facing an intense and challenging learning/working environment." Travis said.

Patricia Spurio, one of the students in the TM control group, was carrying a full credit load, had a part-time internship, and helped organize a large rally on campus. "For me the greatest benefit was being able to have these two 20-minute periods of meditation. I could feel my whole body releasing the stress of the day. When done, I felt rested and ready for more activity. TM helped me get through it all in a more healthy and balanced way."

ABOUT THE STUDY

1. Higher Brain Integration Scale includes three brain measures:

  • Frontal coherence, a measure of coordinated functioning of executive brain areas;
  • Higher alpha and lower gamma EEG, a change in processing style from attention to outer boundaries (gamma EEG) to attention to one's inner state of well-being (alpha EEG);
  • More appropriate cortical preparatory response, a measure of efficiency of applying mental and motor resources to the task.

2. Faster habituation to a loud tone as measured by skin conductance response:

The sympathetic nervous system responds to loud new tones. However, when you hear the noise again, you do not have to respond to it again. The person who is more balanced habituatesstops respondingvery quickly. The person who is more anxious and worried will continue to respond to the tone. This is what was seen in the non-meditating students.

3. Less sleepiness:

The posttest was at the end of the semesterone week before Finals Weekthe time of greatest pressure and stress for a student. Those students who practiced TM and regularly experienced the state of restful alertness during the practice were more awake. They reported less chance of dozing in eight common situations, on a standardized sleepiness scale.

4. Implications of higher scores on the Brain Integration Scale

Higher scores mean greater frontal coherence, more alpha activity, and better match of brain activation and task demands. Higher scores indicate more optimal brain functioning to support more successful action. High scores on the Brain Integration Scale are correlated with:

  • higher emotional stability,
  • higher moral reasoning,
  • more openness to experience, and
  • decreased anxiety.

Preliminary research indicates that professional athletes (Norwegian), who won gold in World games and Olympic games, had higher Brain Integration scores. Top-level managers also have higher Brain Integration scores. Thus increasing one's Brain Integration Scale scores can provide a new basis for success, a new foundation to deal with the challenges we face in an ever-accelerating world.

st to posttest, Brain Integration Scale scores increased significantly, indicating greater breadth of planning, thinking, and perception of the environment. The sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness decreased among the TM group, which corresponds to greater emotional balance and wakefulness.

"These statistically significant results among college students suggest that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique could be of substantial value for anyone facing an intense and challenging learning/working environment." Travis said.

Patricia Spurio, one of the students in the TM control group, was carrying a full credit load, had a part-time internship, and helped organize a large rally on campus. "For me the greatest benefit was being able to have these two 20-minute periods of meditation. I could feel my whole body releasing the stress of the day. When done, I felt rested and ready for more activity. TM helped me get through it all in a more healthy and balanced way."

ABOUT THE STUDY

1. Higher Brain Integration Scale includes three brain measures:

  • Frontal coherence, a measure of coordinated functioning of executive brain areas;
  • Higher alpha and lower gamma EEG, a change in processing style from attention to outer boundaries (gamma EEG) to attention to one's inner state of well-being (alpha EEG);
  • More appropriate cortical preparatory response, a measure of efficiency of applying mental and motor resources to the task.

2. Faster habituation to a loud tone as measured by skin conductance response:

The sympathetic nervous system responds to loud new tones. However, when you hear the noise again, you do not have to respond to it again. The person who is more balanced habituatesstops respondingvery quickly. The person who is more anxious and worried will continue to respond to the tone. This is what was seen in the non-meditating students.

3. Less sleepiness:

The posttest was at the end of the semesterone week before Finals Weekthe time of greatest pressure and stress for a student. Those students who practiced TM and regularly experienced the state of restful alertness during the practice were more awake. They reported less chance of dozing in eight common situations, on a standardized sleepiness scale.

4. Implications of higher scores on the Brain Integration Scale

Higher scores mean greater frontal coherence, more alpha activity, and better match of brain activation and task demands. Higher scores indicate more optimal brain functioning to support more successful action. High scores on the Brain Integration Scale are correlated with:

  • higher emotional stability,
  • higher moral reasoning,
  • more openness to experience, and
  • decreased anxiety.

Preliminary research indicates that professional athletes (Norwegian), who won gold in World games and Olympic games, had higher Brain Integration scores. Top-level managers also have higher Brain Integration scores. Thus increasing one's Brain Integration Scale scores can provide a new basis for success, a new foundation to deal with the challenges we face in an ever-accelerating world.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ken Chawkin
kchawkin@mum.edu
641-470-1314
Maharishi University of Management
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Transcendental meditation effective in reducing high blood pressure, study shows
2. Study finds Zen meditation alleviates pain
3. A Mindful Chocolate Meditation
4. Dr. Ajrawats Air-Pulse Autonomic Meditation Therapy, a Revolutionary, Scientific, Meditation Therapy, Receives Patent Trademark
5. Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
6. The Chopra Center Co-founders Will Teach a Beginning Course in Meditation and Mind-body Healing This August in Chicago
7. Meditation Pro Retains TransMedia Group to Publicize CD Series
8. Meditation Can Wish You Well, Study Says
9. Meditation impacts blood pressure, study shows
10. New Keys to the Heart Meditation CD Series Provides Sound Energy Therapy Using First Ever Recording of an Ancient Healing Instrument
11. Meditation a Quick Fix for Stress
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Transcendental Meditation buffers students against college stress: Study
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... life? The answer may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether ... as well as pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... franchises from across the country gathered at the La Valencia Hotel in San ... PROSHRED Chicago was named the year’s most outstanding franchise, walking away with ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading national ... & Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding score ... by healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Colorize ... from on one drop zone to the next using Colorize's dynamic moving camera. Colorize ... project. This package includes a 3D slideshow environment with 1 to 5 focus points ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Calls Blacklist has just been updated by mobile app ... the developer has fixed known bugs within the app. Calls Blacklist allows its users ... not consuming any of their device’s battery power or memory. It provides a powerful ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... has entered into a settlement agreement with the ... resolving the SEC,s investigation into possible violations of ... terms of the settlement agreement, SciClone has agreed ... disgorgement, pre-judgment interest and a penalty.  This payment ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Global Immunology Market to 2022 - Large ... growth Summary Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases are ... affect 5–7% of western populations. Although they are ... key patient demographics, they are pathophysiologically linked, being ... inappropriate immune response. Generally, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, a ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... treat life-threatening diseases, today announced results for the ... 2015. --> --> ... our last quarterly call, we strategically advanced pre-clinical ... to establish the Aethlon Hemopurifier® as a leading ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: