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Beneficial effects of 12-week OM chanting on memory in school children

Authors:
  • R.D.Gardi Medical College
*Corresponding Author Address: Dr. Mukkadan J K, Department of Physiology, Little Flower Medical Research Centre, Angamaly,
Kerala, India.
World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2321-3310; ISSN (Online): 2321-3086
Published by Atom and Cell Publishers © All Rights Reserved
Available online at: http://www.wjpsonline.org/
Original Article
Beneficial effects of 12-week OM chanting on memory in school children
K L Naidu,1 P Mohan Rao,2 Kumar Sai Sailesh,3 Aswathy Gopinath, 4 Soumya Mishra,5 Swathy Ashok,6 Arati
Amin,7 Udaya Kumar Reddy,8 Mukkadan J K9*
1Department of Ophthalmology, GEMS Hospital, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
2Department of Community Medicine, GEMS Hospital, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
3Assistant professor, Department of Physiology, Little Flower Institute of Medical Sciences and Research,
Angamaly, Kerala, India.
4PG student, Department of Physiology, Little Flower Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Angamaly,
Kerala, India.
5Senior Resident, Department of Physiology, JIPMER, Pondicherry, India
6Vice- Chairman, Akshara group of Institutions, Manthani, Karimnagar, Telangana, India.
7Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, PK Das Institute of Medical Sciences, Ottapalam, Kerala,
India.
8President, International Stress Management Association (ISMAIND), Hyderabad, Telangana State, India.
9Department of Physiology, Little Flower Medical Research Centre, Angamaly, Kerala, India.
Received: 10-09-2014 / Revised: 25-11-2014 / Accepted: 05-12-2014
ABSTRACT
The present study was aimed to provide scientific evidence for beneficial effect of OM chanting on memory.
The present study was conducted at Akshara group of institutions, Manthani, Telangana State, India, after
obtaining institutional human ethical committee clearance. A total of 60 healthy and wiling female school
children aged 12-15 years, were included in the study after obtaining informed consent, following inclusion and
exclusion criteria. Subjects were asked to sit in sukhasana and to inhalation deeply and then while exhaling
should produce sound (chant) OM with the ability to continue until further exhalation is not possible.
Intervention group participants, performed OM chanting once in a day for 30 minutes daily, between 6:30 AM
to 7:00 AM, for 12 weeks under the supervision of yoga teacher. No significant difference was observed in
demographic data of the participants. Spatial and verbal memory scores before intervention (baseline values),
are not significantly different between control and intervention groups. Significant improvement in both spatial
and verbal memory was observed in intervention group when compared to control group. Our study further
supports the beneficial effect of OM chanting on memory. We recommend adopting OM chanting in routine day
life style for a better cognition and quality of life
Key words: OM chanting, Spatial memory, Verbal memory, School children.
INTRODUCTION
Pranayama is a yogic practice where the subject
prolongs and controls the breath, which helps to
bring the conscious awareness in breathing; to
reshape breathing habits and patterns.1 OM is one
of the fundamental symbols used in the yoga
tradition. It is Combination of A, U (O) and M,
which symbolizes the three states of consciousness
i.e., waking state, dream state and deep sleep
respectively. Though, the sound of OM represents
the primal vibration.2 The OM chanting is an
important exhalation exercise.3 The Vedic chanting
generates frequencies and the sympathetic
overtones generated, which have a vibration pattern
of their own and influences autonomic nerves, and
influences the two hemispheres of the cerebral
cortex.4 Earlier studies reported that, OM chanting
significantly decreased heart rate and respiratory
rate and skin resistance.5 Existing literature
supports that different yogic practices like asana,
pranayama, and meditation can be used as an
intervention to enhance memory and
concentration.6 However, little literature exists to
support effect of OM chanting on memory. Hence,
the present study was aimed to provide scientific
evidence for beneficial effect of OM chanting on
memory.
Mukkadan et al., World J Pharm Sci 2014; 2(12): 1969-1971
1970
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Participants: The present study was conducted at
Akshara group of institutions, Manthani, Telangana
State, India, after obtaining institutional human
ethical committee clearance. A total of 60 healthy
and wiling female school children aged 12-15
years, were included in the study after obtaining
informed consent, following inclusion and
exclusion criteria. Unwilling participants and with
any diseases were excluded from the study. The
selected participants were randomly assigned into
two groups.
Group A: (n=30) Control group (Neither OM
chanting nor any meditation was performed)
Group B: (n=30) Intervention group (OM chanting
was performed once in a day, daily for 12 weeks)
OM chanting: Subjects were asked to sit in
sukhasana and to inhalation deeply and then while
exhaling should produce sound (chant) OM with
the ability to continue until further exhalation is not
possible.3 Intervention group participants performed
OM chanting once in a day for 30 minutes daily,
between 6:30 AM to 7:00 AM, for 12 weeks under
the supervision of yoga teacher.
Outcome measures:
Assessment of memory: Spatial and verbal
memory test, described in the literature were used.
The test was conducted in consultation with the
psychiatrist of our hospital.7,8,9
Ethical consideration: The study was approved by
Institutional Ethics Committee. The study was
performed in accordance with the “Ethical
Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human
Participants, 2006” by the Indian Council of
Medical Research and the Declaration of Helsinki,
2008.
Data analysis: Data was presented as mean ±SD.
Data was analyzed by SPSS 20.0. Tests used are
student t test. P value <0.05 was considered as
significant.
RESULTS
Table 1 presents demographic data of the
participants. No significant difference was
observed in demographic data of the participants.
Table 2 presents spatial and verbal memory scores
before intervention (baseline values), which are not
significantly different between control and
intervention groups. Table 3 presents spatial and
verbal memory scores after the intervention.
Significant improvement in both spatial and verbal
memory was observed in intervention group when
compared to control group.
Table 1: Demographic data of the participants
Parameter
Control group (n=30)
Intervention group (n=30)
P value
Age( years)
13.615± 1.19
13.308± 1.18
0.515174
Height (cm)
144.85 ± 6.67
145.85 ± 8.18
0.735674
Weight (kg)
43.538 ± 3.86
43.462 ± 4.43
0.96275
Data was presented as Mean±SD.
Table 2: Spatial and verbal memory scores of participants before intervention
Control group (n=30)
P value
Spatial memory
5.4615 ± 1.66
0.858876
Verbal memory
3.3±1.77
0.709389
Data was presented as Mean ± SD. (*P<0.05 is significant, **P<0.01 is significant,
***P<0.001 is significant)
`Table 3: Spatial and verbal memory scores of participants after intervention
Control group (n=30)
Intervention group (n=30)
P value
Spatial memory
5.636±1.96
7.272±1.27
0.031037*
Verbal memory
3.9±1.85
5.7±1.16
0.008972*
Data was presented as Mean ± SD. (*P<0.05 is significant,
**P<0.01 is significant, ***P<0.001 is significant)
DISCUSSION
It was reported that exceptionally intelligent people
use only 7% of real potential of their brain and
about 93% of brain potential is still remain unused
dormant and unnoticed.10 OM chanting was
described in the ancient India scripture was an
simple and practical method for systematic training
toward the realization and resuming the dormant
capabilities of the brain.10 The vibrations produced
during OM chanting, changes the energetic
structure of mind. Earlier studies reported
Mukkadan et al., World J Pharm Sci 2014; 2(12): 1969-1971
1971
significant improvement of memory followed by
OM chanting.11,12 OM chanting produces calming
effect to mind and relaxes the body.10 It was
reported that OM chanting reduces stress and
improves concentration and attention.12 OMKAR
recitation improves memory by increasing the
efficiency of cells and the concerned organs. We
agree with earlier studies as we have observed
improvement in both spatial and verbal memory in
children followed by OM chanting.
CONCLUSION
Our study further supports the beneficial effect of
OM chanting on memory. We recommend adopting
OM chanting in routine day life style for a better
cognition and quality of life.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Our sincere thanks to all the children and their
parents for their support. Sincere thanks to Mr. P.
Ashokan, Chairman, Akshara group of institutions
for his support and suggestions.
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College Students. International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences 2012;1(1): 52-57.
11. Bhole, Gore M.M., & Rajkumar. Effect of low pitched Om recitation (Omkar) on some selected
psychophysiological parameters Yoga Mimamsa 1993; 31(4): 159-175.
12. Ganguly, S.K. Effect of Om chanting on concentration power & reducation stressful condition. Yoga
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  • Bhole
  • M M Gore
  • Rajkumar
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Effect of Nadishodhan Prayayama and Om chanting on Memory Enhancement of College Students
  • Kanchan Joshi
Kanchan Joshi. Effect of Nadishodhan Prayayama and Om chanting on Memory Enhancement of College Students. International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences 2012;1(1): 52-57.
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Baddeley AD. Your memory -a user's guide. New York: Avery, 1993.