|Reference code: ||PT/FB/BL-2006-012.06|
|Location: ||Arquivo PCA - Pasta 6/2006|
|Experience in long-term meditation reduces the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity|
|Publication year: ||2009|
There is an increasing effort in research to uncover the underlying changes in biological processes that are associated with reported changes in mental and physical health in response to meditation. Moreover, there is evidence that meditation decreases anxiety and increases positive affect. However, the impact of short- and long-term meditation on the HPA axis activity has been poorly investigated so far. To investigate the HPA axis activity is particularly important because aberrant cortisol secretion is associated with depressive disorders.
The aim of the pilot study was to associate the HPA axis activity-dependent cortisol secretion with the duration of meditation in people with long-term expertise, and to compare patterns of cortisol secretion before and after training of novices in meditation.
Eighteen people took part in the study. Nine of them (age (years): M = 49.8, SD = 7.50) had long-term expertise in meditation (duration (months): M = 264; SD = 95.5), and nine were novices (age: M = 40.2, SD = 11.44). Saliva samples to analyze cortisol secretion were gathered before and after the first and the last training session of an 8 week behavioral intervention termed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which includes daily meditation practice.
In people with long-term expertise, duration of meditation highly correlated with decreased cortisol secretion before (r = -0.69, p = 0.04; controlling for age: r = -0.72, p = 0.045) and after training (r = -0.74, p =0.02; controlling for age: r = -0.68, p = 0.06). In novices, no statistically significant differences in mean cortisol secretions before and after the intervention could be observed, although there was a general decrease.
Results suggest that long-term experience in meditation has a favorable impact on the HPA axis activity. This result may in part explain why MBSR has a favorable impact on depressive symptoms.
|Accessibility: ||Document does not exist in file|
|Secondary author(s): |
|Schmidt, S., Naranjo, J. R., Holsboer-Trachsler, E. |
|Document type: |
|Number of reproductions: |
|Brand, S., Schmidt, S., Naranjo, J. R., & Holsboer-Trachsler, E. (2009). Experience in long-term meditation reduces the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity. Neuropsychobiology, 59(2), 62–63.|
|Indexed document: ||Yes|
|Keywords: ||Meditation / Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity / Cortisol secretion / Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)|
Experience in long-term meditation reduces the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity