08 Mar



Are Holen is a psychologist, physician and a world-renowned expert in stress psychiatry. He studied Sanskrit in India in is his early years and analysed different meditative techniques. He learned deep meditation namely Transcendental meditation from Mahesh Yogi in 1962 and in January 1966 founded Acem School of meditation in Oslo, Norway. Acem Meditation is a technique developed by the Acem School of Meditation. This non-religious meditation technique is taught in many countries, and its effects refer to psychological and physiological mechanisms. It is process-oriented, correct meditation defined in terms of practice rather than experiences. Unlike other methods, it makes no use of concentration but instead allows thoughts that arise to come and go without  controlling them for  relaxation being the main goal. It thus effects and stimulates long-term processes of personal growth either.


Acem Meditation involves repetition of a meditative sound that helps the mind and body to relax and bring closer to consciousness.

The way the meditative sound, that is being repeated, i.e. the tone of voice is of paramount importance. Pacticed with a relaxed state of mind, which does not require concentration and that which allows thoughts, feelings to come and go freely; is considered a central part of the technique.

This technique does not suggest any particular posture emphasising the above vital requirement of the Free State of mind to aid relaxation naturally. Support for the lower back is an option. One can start practising for the minimum time or forty-five minutes for long term results. Some studies suggest that Acem Meditation has more pronounced effects than techniques built on concentration as one allows free flow of thoughts.

Practising this technique regularly one can transcend the basic need for food, shelter and intimacy, feels refreshed, energised and creative. It has anti-stress effects. The practitioner becomes inspired and more aware of the nature of life, the kind of existence and thereby leading towards self-understanding and personal growth. 

Research study on Acem meditation technique:- 

•A study by Dr Erik Ekker Solberg in the 2004 University of Oslo, Norway, explored the psychobiological effects of Acem Meditation. Results show that Acem Meditation reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and muscular tension which is more stable than at rest, an indication to relaxation.

Results also suggest that advanced meditators have higher melatonin levels than non-meditators, possibly an effect of long-term relaxation.

•In a study of performance under stress, between marksmen who had learned Acem Meditation and control group that did not learn Acem meditation technique; results showed improved results in competition marksmanship, compared to a control group indicating that Acem Meditation reduces the level of stress during tense and demanding situations.

•A study by Erik Solberg on the effect of meditation on immune cells suggests practising meditation had lowered the lymphocyte counts at rest before the race by the participants. 

•EEG shows the emergence of theta waves along with wakefulness, indicating even more profound relaxation.

•Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on experienced practitioners of Acem meditation to analyse whether brain activation during relaxed focusing on a meditation sound be distinguished from similar concentrative control tasks was studied.

Results suggest that meditating with a relaxed focus of attention may activate distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex.

• A study used activation likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis to make a coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging data on the effects of meditation (Acem meditation was also a technique used in the study) on brain structure and function.

 Results of ALE analysis suggest that meditation practice induces functional and structural brain modifications, especially in areas involved in self-referential processes, including self-awareness and self-regulation as well as in areas relating to attention, executive functions, and memory formations meditation practice in clinical populations and in disease prevention, especially in at-risk groups such as the elderly.

Relaxation is the primary effect of Acem Meditation. The other benefits are:-

•Relief from insomnia, concentration problems, headaches and other bodily symptoms

•Help manage stress, i.e. acts as an anti-stress 

•Blood pressure and heart rate reduced(ideal)

•Performance under pressure is enhanced

•Improved social relations 

•The immune system  strengthened

•Deep relaxation.

When one practices this technique regularly, one can reap the benefits of long-term personal growth along with relaxation.

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