To test whether rhythmic formulas such as the rosary and yoga mantras can synchronise and reinforce inherent cardiovascular rhythms and modify baroreflex sensitivity.
Comparison of effects of recitation of the Ave Maria (in Latin) or of a mantra, during spontaneous and metronome controlled breathing, on breathing rate and on spontaneous oscillations in RR interval, and on blood pressure and cerebral circulation.
Both prayer and mantra caused striking, powerful, and synchronous increases in existing cardiovascular rhythms when recited six times a minute. Baroreflex sensitivity also increased significantly, from 9.5 (SD 4.6) to 11.5 (4.9) ms/mm Hg, P<0.05. Conclusion Rhythm formulas that involve breathing at six breaths per minute induce favourable psychological and possibly physiological effects. What is already known on this topic Reduced heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity are powerful and independent predictors of poor prognosis in heart disease Slow breathing enhances heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity by synchronising inherent cardiovascular rhythms What this study adds Recitation of the rosary, and also of yoga mantras, slowed respiration to almost exactly 6/min, and enhanced heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity The rosary might be viewed as a health practice as well as a religious practice." Source : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC61046/