Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: Comparative study

L. Bernardi, P. Sleight, G. Bandinelli, S. Cencetti, L. Fattorini, J. Wdowczyc-Szulc, A. Lagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To test whether rhythmic formulas such as the rosary and yoga mantras can synchronise and reinforce inherent cardiovascular rhythms and modify baroreflex sensitivity. Design: Comparison of effects of recitation of the Ave Maria (in Latin) or of a mantra, during spontaneous and metronome controlled breathing, on breathing rate and on spontaneous oscillations in RR interval, and on blood pressure and cerebral circulation. Setting: Florence and Pavia, Italy. Participants: 23 healthy adults. Main outcome measures: Breathing rate, regularity of breathing, baroreflex sensitivity, frequency of cardiovascular oscillations. Results: Both prayer and mantra caused striking, powerful, and synchronous increases in existing cardiovascular rhythms when recited six times a minute. Baroreflex sensitivity also increased significantly, from 9.5 (SD 4.6) to 11.5 (4.9) ms/mm Hg, P <0.05. Conclusion: Rhythm formulas that involve breathing at six breaths per minute induce favourable psychological and possibly physiological effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1449
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume323
Issue number7327
Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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