Student-led Meditation Study Shows Immediate Cardiac Benefit

By Anna Kolchinski 

In a study primarily led by Hannah Marti, who graduated recently from Michigan Tech with a B.S in biomedical engineering, it was found that meditating a single time using a variety of meditation techniques decreased resting heart rate and anxiety and improved blood pressure measure results. With the guidance of John Durocher, assistant biology professor, Marti conducted a study with 14 participants to determine if a single meditation session could cause measurable improvement in anxiety and cardiac stress. Although it has long been known that repeated meditation can lead to positive effects, single sessions had not been previously studied. Prior to the meditation, the participants had a variety of physical measures taken, and were administered the Beck anxiety test. They then meditated for an hour, including using mindfulness and body scan techniques. Measurements were then taken post-meditation, and showed lower heart rate and better blood pressure. In addition, anxiety levels were lower even a week after the meditation session. While this study certainly demonstrates the benefits of single meditation sessions, the sample size was small, and more research is certainly needed. However, this study highlights the importance of research led by undergraduate students, proving that they can make legitimate scientific contributions. 

 

Michigan Technological University. "Meditation could help anxiety and cardiovascular health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180420122810.htm>.