Can meditation reduce inflammation?

Can meditation reduce inflammation?

Can meditation reduce inflammation?

The ancient practice of meditation is gaining recognition – not only for its spiritual benefits, but its health benefits as well. Back in May, we reported on how meditation can reduce the risk of dementia.

New research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh shows that meditation helps reduce inflammation. The group wanted to search for an association between meditation and inflammation, which is a part of the immune system.

The researchers focused specifically on mindful meditation, where the practitioners specifically focus their attention on their breath. When they’re attention wanders, they simply refocus on their breath.

The research team recruited 35 people who were looking for a job and were dealing with the stress. Half of the participants practiced mindful meditation and half were the control group who were not told to practice meditation.

All of the study participants were given brain scans and blood tests after the study.

The blood tests showed some great potential. They found that the group that practiced meditation had lower levels of a key inflammation marker interleukin-6 (IL-6), which should mean health benefits.

The meditation group was also the only group that reported lower stress levels four months after the study program.

The meditation group also showed better connections within the parts of the brain that handle stress, which is also associated with a reduction in IL-6.

The authors concluded:

“These results suggest that the long-term practice of meditation may reduce stress reactivity and could be of therapeutic benefit in chronic inflammatory conditions characterized by neurogenic inflammation.”
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1. “Reduced Stress and Inflammatory Responsiveness in Experienced Meditators Compared to a Matched Healthy Control Group.” Science Direct. Psychoneuroendocrinology, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.

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  1. Pingback: Enlightening lavender ginger meditation tea

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