TSM and Breath Rate
During TSM, oxygen consumption, a prime indicator of levels of rest and activity, decreases by about double the drop that occurs during night sleep: about 16 per cent compared with about 8 per cent. This deeply refreshing state cannot be attained by effort or concentration. Only nature can do this for you.
For most people the practice of TSM meditation produces a unique style of breathing characterized by periodic cessations of the normal respiratory rhythm. The suspensions of breath during TSM occur spontaneously and naturally as part of a very comfortable experience of deep rest, and there is no shortage of breath during this time.
TSM is completely different from ordinary relaxation, both in its immediate effect on physiology and in its long-term effects. People report that their breathing is reduced dramatically as is heart activity and levels of relaxation. Suspension of breath and lower breath rate are natural physiological changes which indicate profound relaxation.
TSM is more effective as an alternative for reducing stress and substance abuse and for promoting personal development. Cortisol is a hormone in the bloodstream which is found in large concentrations during stress, fasting or dehydration. Studies found that lower cortisol levels during meditation indicate a state of deep rest that is deeper than ordinary relaxation (www.pubmed.gov).
Reversal Of Fight or Flight Mechanisms
Extensive effort has lead to a number of useful studies and has opened the door for many who might otherwise avoid meditation entirely.
Any condition that's caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, say many mind/body researchers. If meditation is practiced regularly, it can have lasting effects when encountering stress throughout the day and can improve health. Regular elicitation of the body’s own healing mechanisms has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, this kind of deep relaxation can help.
The body's "fight or flight" response stress hormones, produced when the body's "fight or flight" response is triggered, play a role in a host of ailments including hypertension, anxiety, depression, infertility, hot flashes in menopause and insomnia, say researchers. Those hormones--adrenaline and noradrenaline specifically - are created to allow for a quick reaction to stressful events. However, with little reason for fight or flight under most modern stressful circumstances, such as paying the bills or facing a cancer diagnosis, they go unused and collect in the body.
Relaxation techniques can help undo the damage done by stress hormones and should be considered an essential element of health care. Many researchers and doctors agree that 60 percent of doctor visits are stress-related, and suggested we have to take behavioral health very seriously.