A study of the effects of Acem Meditation on heart functioning was recently undertaken. “The findings are very promising,” says cardiologist Anders Nesvold, who was in charge of the research team. “We were surprised that the results were so clearly significant in such a small group. Non-directive meditation clearly has a positive effect on heart-rate variability. When you meditate, you start autonomous processes in the body and mind. These processes are beyond voluntary control, and involve the brain, heart, and hormones. Non-directive meditation reduces the type of nerve activity that induces stress, but increases the type of nerve activity that is associated with rest and relaxation. This may contribute to a reduction of cardiovascular risk.”
When athletes train hard and compete, the immune system is temporarily weakened. A study indicates that runners who practised Acem Meditation for half a year, strengthened their immune systems compared to runners who had not learned to meditate. Acem Meditation reduces the unfavourable effect of stress on the immune system, not only for runners, but for everyone who experiences stress.
Psychological stress is often associated with hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a risk factor for serious heart disease. We have known since the seventies that non-concentrative meditation techniques have the ability to reduce elevated blood pressure, independently of pharmacological treatment. Well in accordance with this, a pilot study of 40 locomotive engineers working irregular shifts demonstrated greater reductions in blood pressure and stress symptoms with Acem Meditation than with progressive relaxation, a muscle relaxation technique
Reference: Pär Westlund & Are Holen: Sleep, alertness and quality of life. Fighting stress, p. 129-137. Acem Publishing, Oslo 2008
Musculoskeletal pain is widespread. In Norway, for example, 50% of long-term sick leave and one third of new disability pensions are based on musculoskeletal diagnoses. Research indicates that painkillers used without a definite physiological cause has little or no effect. On the other hand, research shows that relaxation techniques similar to Acem Meditation may reduce tension in the neck and alleviate chronic headaches and other chronic pain ailments. The effect is retained over time (one year) and appears to increase in time
Merete Lund Hetland: When painkillers don't kill pain. Fighting Stress, p. 91-105. Acem Publishing, Oslo 2008.