Mindfulness Meditation: An Overview of MSRT, Supine Position, and Cognitive Performance

// Lauren Martin, MS and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS


Mindfulness Meditation: An Overview of MSRT, Supine Position, and Cognitive Performance

With the constant stresses of work and life in general, we often find ourselves feeling beat down, overwhelmed, and mentally exhausted. Although many of us feel there are not enough hours in the day to finish our daily tasks, research shows you may want to take a “brain break” and set aside time to be mindful and meditate.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been found to elicit a positive impact on cognitive performance and abilities such as attention, memory, cognitive flexibility, and quality of task performance.1-3The word “mindfulness” is used to describe a specific way of paying attention to the present moment characterized by a receptive and non-judgmental attitude.This technique can be practiced informally on an individual basis or formally in group-based settings.

The benefits of practicing mind-body techniques like mindfulness meditation are purported to enhance our ability to access brain function and support mental energy. Mind Sound Resonance Technique (MSRT) is a technique that enhances cognitive performance. It’s practiced in the supine position with the eyes closed and involves the internal vibrations and resonance devolved while chanting the mantras to reach a deep relaxation.5

The Studies

A recent study examined the effectiveness of this technique by assessing cognitive function of medical students in a randomized, two-way crossover study. The participants practiced lying in the supine position, also called Shavasana or Savasana, or Corpse Pose, with eyes closed and palms facing up for 30 minutes.The Six-Letter Cancelation Task (SLCT) and Digit Letter Substitution Test (DLST) were used to assess the impact of MSRT on cognitive function. MSRT was found to be beneficial in enhancing the performance in cognitive tasks that demand sustained attention, concentration, visual scanning, mental flexibility, and speed of information processing.5

Another study that assessed the link between meditation, self-reported mindfulness, and cognitive flexibility found that high levels of mindfulness correlated with high processing speed and good attentional and inhibitory control. In addition, it is associated with reduced errors, suggesting greater attentional control, accuracy of visual scanning, carefulness, cognitive flexibility, and quality of performance.1The benefits of practicing mind-body techniques like mindfulness meditation are purported to enhance our ability to access brain function and support mental energy.

Tools to begin a brain-boosting meditation journey:

  1. Attend a Meditation Center (Meditation Finder or your favorite, local meditation center is a great place to start.)
  2. Meditation Apps (One to try: Headspace)
  3. Online Tutorials (A great list to get you started)

Lauren Martin, MS and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS

Lauren Martinearned a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Columbia University. She is a candidate nutrition specialist and intern at Metabolic Treatment Center. She co-founded Martin Family Style, a lifestyle, food, and nutrition blog. Lauren is the lead author of the blog's nutrition section. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Oklahoma State University.

Corey Schuler is the Director of Clinical Affairs for Integrative Therapeutics. He is a certified nutrition specialist, licensed nutritionist, and chiropractic physician board-certified in clinical nutrition. He has earned degrees in nursing and phytotherapeutics, and has a private integrative medicine practice in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Dr. Schuler is an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Applied Clinical Nutrition at New York Chiropractic College. He volunteers for the Board of Certification for Nutrition Specialists and is a member of Institute for Functional Medicine, American College of Nutrition, and American Nutrition Association. He has conducted dozens of national seminars, media, and podcast interviews including CBS-WCCO and other radio stations, Intelligent Medicine, Underground Wellness, Five to Thrive Live, Aging but Dangerous, Rebel Health Tribe, and countless online summit appearances. He is on the board of directors for the International Probiotics Association and an advisor to Functional Medicine University.

  1. Moore A, Malinowski P. Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility. Consciousness and Cognition 2009;18(1):176-86. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.12.008.
  2. Zeidan F, Johnson SK, Diamond BJ, David Z, Goolkasian P. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition 2010;19(2):597-605. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2010.03.014.
  3. Quach D, Jastrowski Mano KE, Alexander K. A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Working Memory Capacity in Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.09.024.
  4. Chiesa A, Calati R, Serretti A. Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings. Clinical Psychology Review 2011;31(3):449-64. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.11.003.
  5. Saoji A, Mohanty S, Vinchurkar SA. Effect of a Single Session of a Yogic Meditation Technique on Cognitive Performance in Medical Students: A Randomized Crossover Trial. J Relig Health.  2016. doi: 10.1007/s10943-016-0195-x.

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