John J. Durocher, PhD; Hannah L. Phelan, MD; Colleen A. Toorongian, MS;
Aditi P. Vyas, PhD; Brigitte E. Morin, MS
Context • Anxiety is a common mental health concern in the USA that is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, arterial stiffness, and cardiovascular disease. Therapists have used eight-week programs for mindfulness meditation to treat anxiety; however little is known about the psychophysiological effects of a single meditation session.
Objective • The study intended to assess the effects of a one-hour, mindfulness-meditation session on anxiety symptomology and cardiovascular function, including aortic pulsatility.
Design • The research team performed a prospective, single-group study.
Setting • The study took place at Michigan Technological University.
Participants • Participants were 14 young adults with an initial Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) score of 8 to 26, showing mild to moderate anxiety.
Intervention • Participants took part in a single, one-hour, guided, mindfulness-meditation session.
Outcome Measures • The research team: (1) administered the BAI during an orientation session and at 60-minutes post intervention, and (2) measured the cardiovascular variables of qualified participants at the orientation, at baseline prior to the intervention, immediately post intervention, and at 60 minutes post intervention, including systolic arterial blood pressure (SAP), diastolic arterial blood pressure (DAP), heart rate (HR), aortic pulse pressure (aPP), aortic pulsatility, aortic augmentation index (AIx) at 75 bpm, carotid-radial pulse wave velocity (crPWV), carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), and respiratory rate.
Results • Participants had a significant decrease in the BAI scores between baseline and 60-minutes post intervention (P = .01) and a significant reduction in aortic pulsatility—aPP x HR—between baseline and immediately post intervention and between baseline and 60-minutes post intervention (both P < .01).
Conclusions • Preliminary results suggest that one hour of introductory mindfulness meditation can have both psychological and cardiovascular benefits for anxious individuals. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2023;37(2):32-36.)
John J. Durocher, PhD, Affiliated Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, and Director, Integrative Physiology and Health Sciences Center and Nils K. Nelson Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University Northwest, Hammond, IN, USA. Hannah L. Phelan, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Wausau, WI, and Research Assistant at the time of the study, Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI. Colleen A. Toorongian, MS, MS student at the time of the study, Department of Biological Sciences, and Research Assistant, Integrative Physiology and Health Sciences Center, Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, IN. Aditi P. Vyas, PhD, PhD student at the time of the study, and Brigitte E. Morin, MS, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA.