IAM—Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique lowers stress hormones, according to a study recently published in the 2011 volume of the international journal Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM), published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation. The five-year study, titled “The Effect of Meditation on Psycho-Physiological Variables,” examines the effect of IAM Technique on various psychological, physiological and biochemical parameters.
According to the study, practitioners of IAM Technique experience a reduction in stress-hormone adrenaline within 48 hours of beginning the practice. This reduction was shown to sustain in IAM Technique practitioners throughout the eight-month monitoring period accounted for by the study. The study also showed a decline in stress-hormone cortisol following eight months of practice. Other physiological results documented by the study include a significant decrease in the heart and respiratory rate of practitioners, as well as significant increase in IgA levels, which are associated with immunological benefits. Through the study’s psychological-evaluation component, a major change was also recorded in the attitude of practitioners towards ‘stressful events.’ This study was conducted by Ms. Vandana Balakrishnan (research scholar), under the guidance of Dr. Harish Kumar, Head of the Department of Endocrinology; Prof. L. Saraswathy (HOD); and Prof. G.K. Suseeladevi of the Department of Physiology, at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in Cochin. Prof. K.R. Sundaram, HOD, Department of Biostatistics at AIMS, provided the statistical support. The results of the study have given rise to further research, including a study on the effect of IAM Technique on relieving stress amongst cancer patients undergoing treatment, as well as the impact of the technique in relieving hypertension.
IAM Technique is taught free of charge throughout the world by representatives of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), the non-governmental organization of renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). It comprises a combination of yogic postures, breathing practices and mental-concentration exercises. MAM has been teaching the technique to the public since 2003. In 2008, at the request of the Indian government, MAM began teaching IAM Technique on a widespread scale to India’s military and paramilitary soldiers. The technique is also being taught in schools and colleges throughout India, as well as to employees of businesses corporations, including Infosys, BSNL and IIM.