He holds science degrees in Psychology and Physiology from the University of Adelaide, with honours in Physiology, completed in The Centre for Sleep Research at The Queen Elizabeth hospital in Adelaide.
His work explores the neurophysiological effects of certain yoga breathing and meditation practices on the heart, brain and autonomic nervous system. Understanding how the brain, nervous and hormonal systems work, particularly in terms of balancing autonomic activity of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems allows better understanding of how the practices work and how to get maximum benefits without other problems.
In University and hospital research studies, he has explored the benefits of yoga in terms of effects on the hypothalamus and pineal. Melatonin, the hormone released by this small gland at night, helps to maintain the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin enhances and maintains immune system functioning as well as being an anti aging and anti cancer agent.
Philip Stevens is a current Research Advisor for the Swan Research Institute (NSW). He also teachs and tutors meditation and Yoga at Monash Medical School (Dept of General Practice) and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He is completing PhD research, exploring the neurophysiological effects of certain pranayamas, yogic breathing and meditation techniques.