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Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998 Jan;42(1):57-63.

Autonomic changes while mentally repeating two syllables--one meaningful and the other neutral.

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Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, K. G. Nagar, Bangalore.


Autonomic and respiratory variables were recorded in 12 volunteers in three types of sessions (1). Before, during and after a test period of mentally repeating a meaningful syllable 'OM' (MOM session) (2). A similar session except that the test period was spent mentally repeating a neutral work, 'one' (COM session) (3). A session with non-targeted thinking (NT session). The subjects were familiar with both syllables, and had been meditating on 'OM' for 20 days. During the test periods of both MOM and COM sessions the rate of respiration (RR) and heart rate (HR) decreased significantly [(two factor ANOVA (RR), paired t test (RR. HR)]. Compared to the pre period. Mental repetition of 'OM' (but not 'one') caused a significant decrease in skin resistance level (SRL) (paired t test). This was taken to mean that the subject recognized the significance of the syllable. No significant change occurred during NT sessions.

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