Meditation can strengthen your immune system.
University of Wisconsin researchers found that people who did eight weeks of meditation training produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine. They also showed signs of increased activity in brain areas related to positive emotion than people who didn’t meditate.
The study, is the first to link meditation to changes in brain activity associated with positive feelings. It’s also the first to demonstrate that meditation can affect immune function.
The study included 48 people. Half of them received weekly meditation training and were encouraged to meditate at home for an hour a day, six days a week, with the help of instructive audiotapes. All the people in the study received a flu vaccine.
The researchers recorded electrical activity in the left and front portions of the brains of the study participants. These areas of the brain become more active when a person experiences certain forms of positive emotion and reductions in anxiety.
Brain activity was measured at several points through the study as the subjects rested or wrote about positive and negative emotional experiences from their lives.
The researchers also tracked immune responses among the people in the study by measuring the level of antibodies produced by the flu vaccination.
The study found the people who did the meditation had more electrical activity in the targeted brain areas and also had higher levels of antibodies than those who didn’t receive the meditation training.
“Our findings indicate that a short training program in mindful meditation has demonstrable effects on brain and immune function,” said researcher Richard J. Davidson.
-Health Behavior News Service
Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec’s comments on Meditation Boosts the Immune System:
These studies were very interesting for a number of reasons.
First, it showed what meditation or stilling the mind can do for not only adults but also children—help heal their body and maintain the health of their bodies. Whether it be blood pressure, or balanced immune system or decreased pain and inflammation, when one stills their mind, they are going to become healthier.
The other point that is of note in the children’s study is the fact that teaching them to do a physical activity of stilling their mind and focusing on their breathing had a positive impact on their health. On the other hand, when they tried to just fill their mind with knowledge of healthy living by having them go to weekly health classes, their blood pressure actually went up. Why would this be? The answer is simple, if you fill the mind with just facts it does nothing (actually can harm) but when you physically show a person a practical physical step they can physically do everyday of their life, their health will improve.
Let this be a lesson to all of us.
“Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”
If we want to change the world’s health, we must change our own health first. Once we know how to be in total health of body, mind and spirit, we can give it away to others by showing them the action steps they can take.
Remember, it is for more powerful to teach someone to sow and reap than to just give them a meal.