It’s no secret that chronic inflammation contributes to poor health. Inflammation can actually be a healthy response to an infection or injury, but too much of it for too long can damage your gut, your joints or other parts of your body when an autoimmune response is triggered.
Chronic inflammation can be managed with a number of different techniques, and research has found a new tool to add to that list: meditation.
The Scientific Research
Consider the following scientific studies:
- A 2013 study found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation could reduce stress-induced inflammation. The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
- Qigong, a form of moving meditation similar to tai chi, was effective in reducing C-reactive protein levels in cancer patients in a trial conducted in 2007 and 2008. CRP is a key marker of chronic inflammation.
- Researchers found that yogic meditation may reduce the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a 2010 study of family caregivers of dementia patients.
Other studies have reported similar results.
So how can you add meditation to your arsenal of healing tools?
Implement the Practice
If moving meditation sounds like something you’d be interested in, look for local classes. Tai chi and qigong are low impact and gentle exercises that include meditative practices. Yoga often involves stretching, which may not be great for all medical conditions, but yoga instructors often focus on whole body health and include meditation in their lessons. Walking meditation may also be an option.
Contact me for more information on how meditation can help you.