For my systematic analysis of meditation studies, because of the relatively small number of studies available for analysis, the many different meditation techniques were grouped into 5 thematically related categories. These were:

  1. Relaxation Response and studies describing the intervention as based on it.
  2. The MBSR and studies describing the intervention as based on it.
  3. TM and studies describing the intervention as based on it.
  4. Multimodal interventions of which meditation is one part, such as yoga, lifestyle strategies etc.
  5. Miscellaneous, where only a few studies had been conducted on a particular technique and/or when a technique did not easily fall into one of the previous categories.

Dr Ramesh Manocha

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It seems logical that experienced meditators would be more likely to be able to generate the experiential and physiological changes associated with meditation at a magnitude sufficient for detection; however selecting them from the wider population necessarily precludes the use of randomisation. This weakens the likelihood that the intervention and comparison groups are truly homogenous. In order to compensate for this comparison participants can be selected to match key parameters. In the case of meditation research, these parameters should include an interest in and motivation to practice meditation.

Ramesh Manocha

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