Building Resilience Benefits of Meditation on Immune Health
Over the last 18 months, our stress level has been in overdrive and maxed to the brink – causing symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, irritable moods, insomnia, and feeling overwhelmed. The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us asking what else can I do to protect myself against this devasting health crisis? The resounding answer is to build your body’s resilience to improve its immune response!
One way to strengthen our resilience is to cultivate our mind-body connection through mindfulness meditation. Researchers have discovered that mindfulness techniques improve physical health in several ways, including relieving stress, treating heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep, decrease migraine pain, and alleviate gastrointestinal issues.
The most well-studied form of mindfulness is the practice of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Studies show that completing an 8-week course using MBSR can reduce stress in working adults and college students and enhance cognitive function. MBSR has also been shown to improve sleep quality in people with insomnia.
Evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation can benefit health and performance, including immune function when practiced regularly. Meditation for the immune system has some amazing results. One study found that mediation increased the immune system’s helper cells (CD-4) involved in signaling to other cells – telling them to destroy infection. People who meditate regularly have a reduction in inflammation markers. High levels of inflammation often correlate with decreased immune function, chronic illness, and is a key factor in serious COVID-19 infections. Finally, meditation can increase telomerase activity – telomerase deterioration leads to cancer and premature aging.
Mindfulness techniques involve focusing the mind on being aware of the present moment to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation with the goal of reaching a meditative state. The purpose of mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experiences to attain a deeper level of focus and calm. While practicing mindfulness meditation, it is common for one’s thoughts to tiptoe back in, drawing the mind away from the present. The goal is to gently bring the mind back to the present without frustration or judgment. For more information on building resilience to protect health and prevent illness, call Compassionate Healthcare Associates, 661 295-7777
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