People suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases – such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or asthma – may benefit from the mindfulness meditation technique.
According to a study by neurologists associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reducing stress through mindfulness, originally meant for patients with chronic pain, is achieved include through breathing exercises and bodily sensations.
“We wanted to develop an intervention that focused on positive change and the mindfulness approach compared to a similar surgery,” said lead researcher Melissa Rosenkranz. The research is published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity .
During the study, two methods were compared. One program offered mindfulness while other programs aimed at improving health without making use of mindfulness. The latter program consisted of information about nutrition, physical activity and music.
With the aid of a stress test, and an ointment were respectively psychological stress and inflammation of the skin, after which the induced response of the immune and endocrine systems was measured. The mindfulness approach proved to be more effective in the inhibition of the inflammation.
The results have shown that people suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases may benefit from interventions that are designed to reduce emotional reactivity. The study further states that mindfulness inflammation knows better than to inhibit other activities to promote welfare.
Rosenkranz further pointed out that a significant part of the population does not improve the available pharmaceutical treatments. Some patients suffer as a result of the negative side effects of the medications, or simply do not respond to standard treatment.
“The mindfulness approach may offer an inexpensive alternative to standard treatments and can easily be practiced at home,” she said. The University of Wisconsin-Madison doing rigorous research into the physiological effects of meditation on the brain and the power of the mind to affect human health.