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Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.

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University of Toronto, Toronto, CanadaPh.D.11/1985Physiology
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VAPostdoctoral fellowship12/1995Biological Rhythms and Sleep
1979 - 1980
Graduate Fellowship
1980 - 1984
Ontario Graduate Scholarship
Doctor of Science (Yoga)

The major focus of my research interest lies in the field of Mind-Body Medicine. Specifically, I am interested in the evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and basic psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the practice of yoga and meditation techniques. These behavioral techniques include specific manipulations of respiratory frequency and tidal volume, maintenance of body postures and stretching exercises, and meditation and mindfulness, which involves relaxed control of attention. These practices are known to produce a coordinated psychophysiological response that has been called the relaxation response, which is associated with a reduction in psychophysiological arousal and a sense of relaxation and well-being. These techniques have been found to be effective for many disorders that have a psychosomatic component and are exacerbated by stress. As behavioral techniques, these practices provide patients with the opportunity for direct involvement in their healthcare, not only reducing the severity of their disorder, but also improving their quality of life. In many cases, these techniques are more effective than existing pharmacological treatments, many of which have side effects.

I have practiced a yoga lifestyle since 1972 and I am a certified instructor in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I am the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute, Research Associate at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, and Research Affiliate of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. I have conducted clinical research trials evaluating yoga interventions for insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic stress, and anxiety disorders and in both public school and occupational settings. I work with the International Association of Yoga Therapists to promote research on yoga and yoga therapy as the chair of the scientific program committee for the annual Symposium on Yoga Research and as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. I am medical editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Report An Introduction to Yoga and chief editor of the medical textbook The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care.

Effect of Yoga on Autonomic Physiology and Sleep Onset
Summer, 06/11/01 - 08/31/01

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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.