Effects of long-term dharma-chan meditation on cardiorespiratory synchronization and heart rate variability behavior

Chih Hao Chang, Pei-Chen Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Remarkable changes in cardiorespiratory interactions are frequently experienced by Chan meditation practitioners following years of practice. This study compares the results of our study on cardiorespiratory interactions for novice (control group) and experienced (experimental group) Chan meditation practitioners. The effectual co-action between the cardiac and respiratory systems was evaluated by the degree of cardiorespiratory phase synchronization (CRPS). In addition, an adaptive-frequency-range (AFR) scheme to reliably quantify heart rate variability (HRV) was developed for assessing the regulation of sympathetic-parasympathetic activity and the efficiency of pulmonary gas exchange. The enhanced HRV method, named HRVAFR, can resolve the issue of overestimating HRV under the condition of slow respiration rates, which is frequently encountered in studies on Chan meditation practitioners. In the comparison of the three data sets collected from the two groups, our findings resulted in innovative hypotheses to interpret the extraordinary process of the rejuvenation of cardiorespiratory functions through long-term Dharma-Chan meditation practice. Particularly, advanced practitioners exhibit a continuously high degree of cardiorespiratory phase synchronization, even during rapid breathing. Based on our post-experimental interview with advanced practitioners, the activation of inner Chakra energy, during the course of Chan-detachment practice, frequently induces perceptible physiological-mental reformation, including an efficient mechanism for regulating cardiorespiratory interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalRejuvenation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013

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