Effects of Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique on Anxiety, Depression, and Plasma Neurotransmitters on a Healthy Population: A Randomized Controlled Trial Followed by a Case-Control Study.
J Altern Complement Med. 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25. PMID: 34037436
Laura Lozano Montes
We aimed to study the short-term effects of Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) technique in anxiety and depression states and to have a better understanding on the underlying physiological changes related to short-term and long-term IAM practice.Short-term IAM practitioners (ST-IAM) and long-term IAM practitioners (LT-IAM) were compared to control groups of the same age and naïve to yoga and meditation (ST-control and LT-control, respectively).Kerala, India.People that did not suffer from any major medical condition. All participants were naïve to yoga and meditation practices, except for the 5 LT-IAM practitioners.ST-IAM practitioners underwent 2 community IAM practices and 5 individual IAM practices. LT-IAM practitioners (performing IAM regularly for more than 4 years) underwent a community IAM practice before the study.Anxiety and depression states and physiological parameters from ST-IAM and ST-control groups were assed in two different visits (before and after the week of IAM practice or control condition). LT-IAM and LT-control subjects' physiological measurements were taken in only one visit.Short-term IAM practice significantly decreased anxiety and depression states; two way ANOVA indicated differences on anxiety and depression scores across visits between ST-IAM and ST-control groups (Group effect: = 6.083, = 0.0209; = 4.449, = 0.0451). However, no changes were observed on their physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and dopamine and GABA plasma levels). Interestingly, LT-IAM practitioners showed increased GABA plasma levels than the LT-control group ( = 0.0358, = 2.521, df = 8).Our study indicates the possible role of IAM technique on modulations of the plasma GABAergic levels and shows that one week of IAM practice is accompanied by a significant decrease of anxiety and depression states in the healthy population.