Differential effects of relaxation techniques on ultraweak photon emission

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2008
Authors  Van Wijk, Eduard P.A.; Lüdtke, Rainer; Van Wijk, Roeland
Journal Title  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume  14
Issue  3
Pages  241-250
Abstract  Background: Evidence has accumulated favoring the possible role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases. Meditation is utilized as an adjunct to conventional medical treatment for several clinical conditions. A few studies suggest a role of long-term meditation in the control of the free-radical metabolism. Many techniques for recording reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been made available. However, most are invasive and none are applicable to all conditions. Attention has recently been drawn to spontaneous ultraweak photon emission (UPE). However, the application of this method in meditation studies is very limited.

Objective: The present study recorded spontaneous UPE at multiple anatomic locations of subjects with long-term experience in transcendental meditation (TM) and compared this with a group that practiced other meditation techniques (OMT) and with subjects having no meditation experience.

Methods: The study examined the anatomic pattern of UPE of 20 subjects practicing TM, compared to 20 subjects practicing OMT, and 20 control subjects with no experience in meditation. Subjects were men who were reported to be healthy and nonsmokers. Meditation was not practiced on the day prior to recording. UPE was recorded in a dark room, using a highly sensitive, cooled photomultiplier system designed for manipulation in three directions. The protocol for the multisite registration of UPE included recording 12 anatomic locations, including the anterior torso, head, neck, and hands.

Results: Data demonstrated emission intensities in the TM and OMT groups that were 27% and 17% lower, respectively, compared to the control group. The decrease was recorded at all anatomic locations. The percent emission contribution of each location to total emission was very similar for the three groups.

Conclusions: Data supported the hypothesis that persistent meditation resulted in decreased UPE. However, the determination of oxidation levels as the source of group differences needs to be verified further to confirm our hypothesis.
URL  http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2007.7185