The mission of The Institute of OM Foundation is to promote and focus on states of consciousness and how they effect the mind, body and spirit. It aspires to be the premiere research foundation focused on partnered practices. It is focused on compassionate and respected rehabilitation, using practice-based modalities. Modeled in part on the MIT Media Lab, IOMF is a research institute aimed at testing the effectiveness of OM and other wellness modalities to treat PTSD, sexual trauma, sexual trangressiveness, stress, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a number of other ailments. The aim is to treat patients in both in-patient/resident and outpatient settings for all aspects of health and consciousness for which there is an evidence basis.
Orgasmic Meditation (or OM) is a structured attention training practice that you do with another person by following a predefined set of detailed instructions. One of the two people participating in the OM must have a clitoris. The OM takes place physically inside an arrangement of pillows with a blanket to lie down on known as a nest. The practice involves one person, known as the strokee, removing her lower garments and laying down inside of the nest while the second, known as the stroker, remains fully clothed, sits beside her, and while following a prescribed set of instructions, strokes her clitoris with the tip of their left index finger for 15 minutes. Both partners place their full attention on this point of physical contact as the stroker varies the pressure, speed, length, direction, and location of the stroke they use. Both partners use their sense of touch to feel for the greatest resonance between the finger and clitoris. Because one partner is stroking and the other is being stroked, each has a different but complementary experience. Both perspectives are valuable and so OM includes a communication style they can use to best hone in on the right combination of speed, pressure, length, direction and location. At the end of the 15 minutes, the stroking portion of the OM comes to a close, the final steps are completed, and the OM is now over. OM has evolved from an esoteric, little-known practice in 2000, into a scientifically investigated and established meditative practice. For years, thousands of practitioners of OM observed and reported life changing benefits, so we set out to document, scientifically, these benefits including: spiritual awakening, trauma recovery, emotional healing and more. As we met with scientists, we began to realize there has been one solidifying definition around sex, “sex is climax”. This stemmed from the science done by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, creator of the Kinsey scale. The scale, developed some 50 years ago, aims to describe sexual arousal, it defines it as, “You start down here, you go up, you climax, there’s emission, then you go down.” The idea of a non-localized, non-climactic emission was so far beyond anything anyone was able to conceive. The idea of anything beyond how a male-based model of sexuality expressed itself in a woman’s body, including something profoundly mind-altering, was beyond the scientific understanding of the time.
Our science journey began in 2016, we started OM Free which later became Institute of OM Foundation to begin researching Orgasmic Meditation. The research was conducted by several scientists including Dr. Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist researching human sexual behavior, addiction, and the physiology of sexual response as well as Dr. Andrew Newberg, director of research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health and a physician at Jefferson University Hospital. In 2016, we received the first IRB approval allowing us to begin research at the University of Pittsburgh. Researchers completed a total of seven studies over the next 4 years entirely based around OM and its benefits. In 2021, multiple peer-reviewed papers on Orgasmic Meditation were published detailing some of the scientific evidence of the effects and benefits of OM. As well as bringing to light a new way to conceive of the sexual impulse and its healing capabilities. To begin, the researchers set out to define What is OM? Research findings differentiated Orgasmic Meditation with sex and demonstrated that the brain signatures of OM participants more closely resemble that of long-term meditation practitioners than people engaging in sex. In other words, it is more about consciousness than pleasure. In addition to brain activity similarities to long-term meditation practitioners, OM increases execution functioning, installing better decision making skills and enhancing self-regulation. This is in opposition to studies on sex which show that sex actually temporarily represses executive function. Dr. Andrew Newberg shows that Orgasmic Meditation more closely resembles a meditative practice rather than a sexual act.
A common question one often has about Orgasmic Mediation meets is, “I get how this will benefit the woman, but what does the man get? What is in it for the man?” It’s important before answering what’s in it for the man to answer what’s in it for the woman. One may suspect some kind of pleasure consumption, which is in itself beneficial. However, what science is showing is that the brain in a female OM participant has what’s considered “at one” like-signature, so through OM she is feeling connected and “at one” with the world. This goes back to the roots of OM in consciousness building. To address the man, their brain signature shows an experience of “flow”, which we’ve all likely heard of through the works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Steven Kotler. Male OM participants experience the same psychological state that is otherwise shown to incentivize everyone from extreme sports athletes to the most advanced surgeons. “Focused, relaxed, high efficiency.” The experience of the strokee and stroker, despite different positions in the OM, have similar experiences on a brain activity level. Research shows the strokee and the stoker’s brain states become very similar around 7 minutes. One hypothesis of this is that is that inside of the mutual experience, the OM partners are able to enter resonance or a shared experience. This resonance then maybe creates an additional possibility for mutual health benefits, benefits found in him are potentially experienced in her, and vise versa. In a study of 40 long-term OM practitioners, data showed long-term and permanently altered brain physiology in functions related to emotional processing. Meaning, long-term practice of Orgasmic Meditation can possibly help improve any past symptoms of trauma and may fortify how one may be affected by future emotional traumas. Practitioners are building what we’d simply call “resilience” through this practice. Resilience to the ups and downs of life. And, an ability to meet challenges with optimism and confidence in their abilities. Related to trauma and in a separate study, OM practice is showing reductions in negative affect and increase in positive affect, both of which relate to depression and anxiety symptoms. Not only is OM preparing practitioners to deal with the sometimes harsh realities of life, but it may be able to heal existing symptoms from past traumas. Orgasmic Meditation offers practitioners a way to reach a state sport activists and scientists refer to as, “flow”. It is total physical immersion, and connection to a deeper wisdom. This type of state is one that is usually only reported to occur during near-death experiences, or after years-long prolonged practice in yoga or meditation or prayer. In addition to accessing flow states, IOMF esearched the concept of mystical experience in OM. Current progress in medical community’s acceptance of psychedelic therapies are finding that the MEQ assessment is a good factor in whether psychedelics are able to cure depression in an individual. The MEQ is an assessment tool which measures spiritual experience and the inks between psychedelics and healing depression and PTSD. Comparing MEQ scores between OM participants and those in a recent study of participants taking psilocybin, OM participants record the equivalent spiritual experience to that of the group taking the 2nd highest dose of psilocybin in the study. This means simply through OM both men and women are reasonably likely to have a full mystical experience and by extension this contact positively effects and has been argued to cure depression in a single experience. This shows promise for the application of OM in healing both depression and PTSD. The Institute of OM is committed to researching the Orgasmic Meditation practice and its implications for the expansion of the human psyche and improvements in both physical and mental health. The purpose of Orgasmic Meditation is to isolate our natural and biological sexual impulse in such a way that participants can begin to use it to train interoceptive acuity and attention, rather than simply for expulsion or reproduction. It is taking our sexual impulse and harnessing it to become a more complex and enlightened human being.
The I OM Foundation applies the rigor of science to the ineffable practice of Orgasmic Meditation (OM).
Hundreds of individual stories hint at the possibility that OM is a transformative practice that heals maladies ranging from sexual dysfunction and trauma to depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune disease, while improving positive affect, energy, and ability to focus and be present. Scientific research will test these possibilities with objectivity and rigor, looking both at the outcomes of an OM practice and at the underlying biological mechanisms.
As a funder and executor of research, the I OM Foundation is committed to transparency, openness, rigor, and reproducibility. We commit to sharing the results of our research in a timely way, whatever these results may be. Whenever possible, we will work with and/or be advised by researchers of the highest caliber.
Research done properly can be slow and laborious; we look for innovative solutions that allow us to accelerate the pace of research through collaboration. We regularly seek research partners who share our values and want to work collaboratively and openly.
Our aim is to scientifically evaluate how Orgasmic Meditation affects human connection and flourishing. OM builds the fundamentals of human connection, replacing fear. The container of OM isolates a powerful primal force and channels it into deeply safe, positive connection and flourishing.
Since 2018, the Institute of OM Foundation has dedicated more than $2 million to support scientific research into the practice of OM, including the study of the OM as a potential treatment for depression, anxiety and trauma. Working in partnership with leading research institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Jefferson University, the foundation has supported cutting edge research, including the first partnered stimulation study since William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson’s pioneering research into human sexual response in the 1960s. Major donors to the foundation include Ramani Ayer, retired executive from one of the nation’s oldest insurance companies and longtime TM meditator, and other generous donors.
“I saw great changes in people as a result of their regular practice of OM and so I was inspired to support research exploring its potential health and wellness benefits. I have always believed in science, and I am proud to support this research into a promising area where there has not been a great deal of prior research.” — Ramani Ayer, donor