Researchers have recently found that intense meditation could have a big effect on your immune system.
Curious as to how your Inner Engineering— a type of “technology” that’s dedicated to your overall wellbeing, which can come from yoga sessions— plays a certain role in the biological process that is involved in physiological health? Professionals from the University of Florida observed blood samples taken from 106 adults before and after they participated in an intense wellness retreat. While participating in the heavily regimented program, the volunteers had meditated over 10 hours per day as well as not talking for eight whole days, adhering to a regular sleep schedule and consuming a vegan diet.
According to their research, they found that many immune-related pathways moved in the participants’ retreat samples.
“For the first time ever, the study offers clinical proof that the immune system has the ability to get a natural boost without pharmaceutical intervention by meditating,” said Vijayendran Chandran.
Dr. Chandran said that he and the other researchers “were amazed to find increased activity in about 220 genes directly connected to the immune system, including 68 genes linked with anti-cancer and anti-virus responses.” In fact, a COVID-19 connection was also found.
“While meditation increased activity in about 68 anti-viral genes, when patients were compared with those who had severe COVID-19 it revealed the opposite trend—the number of these anti-viral genes were much lower,” Dr. Chandran adds.
Interestingly, the scientists discovered the high number of gene changes had continued for three months following the retreat. “This discovery might have potential implications for a lot of immune-related conditions, including multiple sclerosis and Covid-19, as it was discovered that meditation generated beneficial gene activity which was comparable to standard treatments provided to multiple sclerosis patients,” said Dr. Chandran.
So, is there reason to think that those of us who participate in meditation for 10 to 20 minutes every day can reap some of the same health benefits? “Longer-term meditation for a shorter duration every day might also improve your immune system,” says Dr. Chandran.