Mindfulness meditation can reduce chronic inflammation, which plays a key role in a range of health problems, from heart disease, arthritis and asthma.
The technique—which focuses attention on the breath, body sensations and thoughts—is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation that is associated with psychological stress. It may also be an effective alternative to drugs in people who are not helped by a pharmaceutical, say researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
It has been tested against other alternatives to reducing stress, such as nutrition, physical activity, balance, and music therapy. In an experiment, all the approaches reduced stress, but mindfulness meditation was the only one that also lowered inflammation associated with stress.
(Source: Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 2013; 27: 174).