Niharika Nagilla, Alex Hankey and HR Nagendra
Link to study
Background and Objectives: This paper concerns mechanisms responsible for the efficacy of yoga medicine, traditionally attributed to the enlivenment of prana. Our strategy was to investigate levels of Qi in acupuncture meridians, since Qi is usually considered equivalent to prana.
Materials and Method: Electrodermal measurements at acumeridian endpoints (Tsing points) were made on 32 healthy individuals, pre and post 3 weeks yoga lifestyle program using AcuGraph 3 (an instrument in wide use). A previous study found that inherent errors prevent AcuGraph from precisely evaluating Qi energies in single meridians, so group results are reported: (a) Energy levels, (b) energy stability, and (c) energy balance between (i) Yin/Yang meridians, (ii) upper and lower, and (iii) left and right regions of the body.
Results: Significant improvements were observed in all but energy stability, supporting the ideas that yoga enlivens prana, and that balance in meridians constitutes health. For balance variables, the study observed shifts toward normal at both ends of variable distributions, reducing standard deviations: post-intervention percentages of subjects with values in the ‘healthy' range increased.
Conclusions: Yoga improved regulation of Qi levels in acumeridian meridians as well as increasing them.
-------- Note from Bernie ---------
There are several studies of this sort using a particular machine to measure energy. Unfortunately, the device doesn't seem to give consistent results with individuals but when a group of people are measured, it is thought to show overall trends. Maybe! I am not convinced. However, here is a list of other studies, if you are interested:
- Previous studies have used AcuGraph to measure effects of Yoga programs. A first assessment concluded that AcuGraph is better suited to make measurements on groups of study participants rather than individuals; changes in group means are more accurate indicators of the outcome of a Yoga program than changes in values for individual participants. A second study concluded that regular practice of Yoga programs for 21 days systematically decreases group standard deviations, indicating improved quality of regulation of acupuncture meridian energies. This idea was confirmed by a second improved study comparing results for different genders. A study on children with HIV noted that the sick exhibit poorer regulation of acupuncture point energies than normal children. A study of similar subjects by four operators concluded that values of AcuGraph measurements depend on the style of use of the probe by individual operators; when this is accounted for, overall patterns of acumeridian energies remain the same. A study of a 5-day Yoga program for business executives concluded that overwork systematically lowered their meridian energies and was probably injurious to health, and the 5-day integrated Yoga therapy program restored only half the deficit. A study of those attending Vedic ceremonies found that attendees were energized preferentially in lower meridians, a valuable observation since most patients are deficient in lower meridian energies, which are otherwise difficult to remedy.
9. Sharma B, Hankey A, Nagilla N, Meenakshy KB, Nagendra HR. Can yoga practices benefit health by improving organism regulation? Evidence from electrodermal measures of acupuncture meridians. Int J Yoga. 2014;7:32-40.
24. Meenakshy KB. Acugraph Electrodermal Measurements: A Reliability MSc Dissertation. SVYASA. 2009
25. Nagilla N, Hankey A, Nagendra H. Effects of yoga practice on acumeridian energies: Variance reduction implies benefits for regulation. Int J Yoga. 2013;6:61-5. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
26. Meenakshy KB, Sharma B, Hankey A, Nagendra HR. An electrodermal study comparing HIV infected children with non infected children. Res React Resolut. 2013;1:4-8.
27. Sharma B, Hankey A, Nagendra HR, Meenakshy KB. Inter-operator variability of electrodermal measure at Jing Well points using AcuGraph 3. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014;7:44-51. [PubMed]
28. Meenakshy KB, Hankey A, Nagendra HR. Electrodermal assessment of SMET program for business executives. Voice Res. 2014;2:61-5.
29. Meenakshy KB, Sushrutha S, Hankey A, Nagendra HR. Vedic yajÃ±a performance reduces qi imbalances. Res React Resolut. 2014;2:16-24.