AMEI's Current Trends in Diagnosis & Treatment

Register      Login

VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Comparison of Autonomic Function using Valsalva Ratio, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure in Meditators and Nonmeditators

Roopam Bassi, Kiran  , Kawalinder Girgla

Citation Information : Bassi R, K, Girgla K. Comparison of Autonomic Function using Valsalva Ratio, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure in Meditators and Nonmeditators. Curr Trends Diagn Treat 2017; 1 (1):6-9.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10055-0002

License: CC BY 3.0

Published Online: 01-06-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).



In recent years, the various health benefits of meditation have been acknowledged by the scientific community as well as by the public. Apart from its physiological benefits, it can also improve the psychological and spiritual well-being. A case–control study was planned to investigate the effect of Rajyoga Meditation on cardiovascular autonomic activity in meditators and nonmeditators.

Materials and methods

The study was conducted on 100 subjects, randomized into two groups: meditators (n = 50; age 35.80 ± 7.69 years) and nonmeditators (n = 50; age 36.76 ± 6.38 years). The meditator group practiced meditation for 30 minutes in the morning as well as in the evening. The control group did not practice any type of meditation or relaxation techniques. The cardiovascular parameters – heart rate (HR), systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and Valsalva maneuver tests – were performed in both the groups in the same environmental conditions. The data were compiled and analyzed using unpaired t test.


The mean values of HR in meditators and the control group were 77.08 ± 5.39 and 80.68 ± 5.71 respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The mean values of SBP in meditators and nonmeditators were 124.60 ± 5.39 and 129.56 ± 4.30 mm Hg respectively, while those for DBP were 77.84 ± 4.65 and 80.80 ± 4.78 mm Hg respectively. The difference in both was statistically significant. In meditators, Valsalva ratio was 1.60 ± 0.20, while in nonmeditators, it was 1.33 ± 0.13, and the difference was highly significant.


Significant improvement is seen in physiological, cardiac, and parasympathetic parameters in Rajyoga meditators. A shift of the autonomic balance toward the parasympathetic side is seen. By purposefully energizing the parasympathetic system by meditation, we can combat the ill effects of stress and help heal many health conditions.

How to cite this article

Kiran, Thaman RG, Bassi R, Girgla K. Comparison of Autonomic Function using Valsalva Ratio, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure in Meditators and Nonmeditators. Curr Trends Diagn Treat 2017;1(1):6-9.

  1. A wakeful hypometabolic physiologic state. Am J Physiol 1971 Sep;221(3):795-799.
  2. Meditation and mental well-being. Ind J Physiol Pharmacol 2006 Jul-Sep;50(3):205-214.
  3. Biofeedback, self regulation and the patterning of physiological processes. Am Sci 1975 May-Jun;63(3):314-324.
  4. Beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in subjects practicing transcendental meditation. J Psychosom Res 1990;34(1):29-33.
  5. Frontal midline theta rhythm is correlated with cardiac autonomic activities during the performance of an attention demanding meditation procedure. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res 2001 Apr;11(2):281-287.
  6. A controlled study of the effects of the transcendental meditation program on cardiovascular reactivity and ambulatory blood pressure. Int J Neurosci 1997 Jan;89(1-2):15-28.
  7. Autonomic stability and transcendental meditation. Psychosom Med 1973 Jul-Aug;35(4):341-349. doi: 10.1097/00006842-197307000-00008
  8. Impact of regular meditation practice on EEG activity at rest and during evoked negative emotions. Int J Neurosci 2005 Jun;115(6):893-909.
  9. The effect of autogenic relaxation on chronic tension headache and in modulating cortisol response. Indian J Anaesth 2005;49(6):474.
  10. ; Mathias, C.J. Investigation and autonomic disorders. In: Banister, R.; Mathias, C.J., editors. Autonomic failure: a text book of clinical disorder of autonomic nervous system. Oxford: Oxford Medical Publication; 2013. p. 255-289.
  11. A simple test of cardiac function based upon the heart rate changes influenced by the Valsalva maneuver. Am J Cardiol 1996 July;18:90-99.
  12. Heart rate response to Valsalva manoeuvre. Reproducibility in normals, and relation to variation in resting heart rate in diabetics. Br Heart J 1977 Jun;39(6):641-644.
  13. Meditation: clinical and health related applications. West J Med 1981 Feb;134(2):45.
  14. A wakeful hypometabolic integrated response. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 1992 Fall;16(3):415-424.
  15. Trial of relaxation in reducing coronary risk: four year follow-up. Br Med J 1985 Apr;290(6475):1103-1106.
  16. Sympathetic response in chronic tension headache after Rajyoga meditation. Int J Basic Appl Physiol 2013;2(1):99-103.
  17. Autonomic changes while mentally repeating two syllables-one meaningful and the other neutral. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1998;42(10):57-63.
  18. Effect of two selected yogic breathing techniques on heart rate variability. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1998 Oct;42(4):467-472.
  19. Effect of meditation on respiratory system, cardiovascular system and lipid profile. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2002 Oct;46(4):487-491.
  20. Effect of short-term and long-term Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga meditation on physiological variables. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2012 Oct-Dec;56(4):388-392.
  21. Does Raja Yoga meditation bring out physiological and psychological general well being among practitioners of it? Int J Collaborative Res Intern Med Public Health 2012;4(12):2000-2012.
  22. The Valsalva manoeuvre: a critical review. South Pac Underwater Med Soc J 1996;26(1):8-13. ISSN 0813-1988.
  23. Central and ANS interaction is altered by short term meditation. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2009 Jun;107(35):15649-15652.
  24. Nonlinear dynamical characterization of heart rate variability time series of meditation. Int J Biol Life Sci 2011;8(3):167-178.
  25. A study on effects of meditation on parasympathetic nervous system functional status in meditators. Int J Res Pharm Biomed Sci 2012;3(2):772-779.
  26. Effect of yoga on cardiovascular system. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2003 Apr;47(2):202-206.
  27. Effect of yoga on cardiovascular autonomic reactivity in essential hypertensive patients. Health Renaissance 2010 May-Aug;8(2):102-109.
  28. Autonomic changes in Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga meditation. Int J Psychophysiol 1993 Sep;15(2):147-152.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.