DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

In order to interpret which of the three stress management techniques was most effective, one must review the results. Clearly, the overall most effective method for myself was meditation. Referring to the heart rate display which is graphed in terms of beats per minute per second, one can see and in turn calculate that the rate of change of the first run (in red) was greatest. Using the formula of (change in y)/(change in x), the red graph at the point where the method was enacted (120 seconds) shows a derivative (standard rate of change) from 114 seconds to 124 seconds equaling approximately -9.8(b/m)/second. Comparing the heart rate derivatives of the green graph of visualization which equals approximately -3(b/m)/second over the same time interval and that of the blue graph of relaxation music which equals -1.9(b/m)/second, the observer can mathematically understand the effectiveness of meditation over the other two (Note: the `-' sign merely indicates the direction of change, it has no effect on interpreting the results). The EKG readings also concur with the heart rate statistics. The EKG sensor, or electrocardiogram, in short, measures cardiac electrical potential wave forms (voltages or impulses) produced by the heart as its chambers contract. Although it take considerable training to learn to interpret EKG readings, it would seem fit to assume that the more exerting the activity the more frequent the waves are created and with larger impulses. Vice versa, the smaller and less frequent waves appear during less tiresome activity. Thus, the red graph of meditation, which up to the first 120 seconds produces the largest voltages, lowers the frequency and impulse of the waves most greatly thereafter. The blue and green graphs, generally consistent with the red in the wave voltages after approximately 140 seconds, start off with much lower EKG readings, once again proving that meditation works best at lowering heart rate most quickly and permanently at the time of application. Unfortunately, the temperature readings reveal that the green graph (visualization) was most effective in reducing body temperature. However, the green graph's temperature measurements appear to be below the other two runs the entire time. Thus, the temperature readings prove inconclusive, as body temperature during the visualization test was lower from the outset. Moreover, no change occurred!