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Stress Health. 2017 Aug;33(3):298-306. doi: 10.1002/smi.2706. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Relationship Between Meditation Depth and Waking Salivary Alpha-Amylase Secretion Among Long-Term MBSR Instructors.

Author information

1
College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.
2
Cancer Prevention and Control Program and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.
3
Connecting Health Innovations, LLC, Columbia, SC, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to characterize sympathetic activity by using waking salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) concentrations in a group of long-term meditation instructors and to examine the association between meditation (depth, dose and duration) and the waking alpha-amylase response. Salivary alpha-amylase samples were collected (immediately upon waking and at 15-min, 30-min and 45-min intervals after waking) from mindfulness-based stress reduction instructors to determine both the area under the curve and the awakening slope (difference in alpha-amylase concentrations between waking and 30-min post-waking). It was determined through general linear models that neither years of meditation nor meditation dose were associated with the awakening sAA slope, but higher scores for meditation depth (greater depth) was associated with a more negative (or steeper) awakening slope [Quartile (Q)1: -7 versus Q4: -21 U/mL; p = 0.06], in fully adjusted models. Older age (p = 0.04) and a later time of waking (p < 0.01) also were associated with less negative awakening slope values. Smoking was associated with lower area under the curve values (smokers: 1716 U/mL versus nonsmokers: 2107 U/mL; p = 0.05) in fully adjusted models. The results suggest a 'healthy' sAA waking slope among individuals who meditate more deeply.

KEYWORDS:

alpha-amylase; meditation; mindfulness; stress

PMID:
27677965
DOI:
10.1002/smi.2706
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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