The Effect of Meditation on Cortisol: A Comparison of Meditation Techniques to a Control Group.

Amy R. Borchardt, M.S.; Stephen M. Patterson, Ph.D.; Elizabeth K. Seng, M.S.
Published:2012

Introduction

There are inherently different types of meditation used to manage stress. Focused attention meditation (FAM) techniques involve sustaining attention on a specific object. Open monitoring techniques (OMM) involve moment-to-moment, nonreactive, monitoring of the present experience. There are relatively few studies that compare the effects of different types of meditation on cortisol levels. Examining how different techniques affect the mind and body will lead to more effective interventions and a better understanding of the mechanisms linking meditation to an increased sense of wellbeing.

In the current study, two different meditation techniques were compared to an active control group to determine if there were differences in cortisol levels within training sessions and across 4 weeks of meditation training.