We are told that regular meditation can have a great impact on our lives. Regular meditation has the ability to reduce stress levels, and may bring an overall sense of peace into our chaotic lives.
As we head into the start of winter, it seems that we, and also everyone around us gets sick. Did you know that regular meditation can not only have an impact on reducing our overall stress levels; it may also be beneficial for our immune system to help ward off those nasty winter bugs.
Long-time daily meditator and Meditation and Mindfulness teacher Soelae Riley shares her research backed insights on how regular meditation can support the immune system, and potentially fight off infection and disease.
Soelay Riley on meditation to improve immunity
I have noticed myself to be rarely sick, and if I do come down with something it is mild and my body seems to process through it quickly. This has been the same observation from other people I speak with who meditate regularly.
It turns out there is research to back this line of thought!
Firstly, regular meditation is thought to be the antidote to the stress response that is so prevalent in our lives today.
Chronic stress causes the release of stress hormones in the body which over time causes wear and tear on our immune system. Meditation takes your body from operating in a ‘stress response’ mode to the ‘rest and repair’ mode which is also known as the parasympathetic nervous system. When your body is in this state, it means your body’s immune system is able to function more effectively.
Secondly (and this is really interesting), regular meditation can actually increase the activity of natural ‘killer cells’ which play an important role in fighting off infection and disease.
Killer cells, apart from sounding ‘bad-ass’, are a type of white blood cell that target to kill stressed and abnormal cells. When these are functioning at an optimal level, your body may have a greater ability to prevent and kill off infection at a faster rate. Research shows the most effective form of meditation to increase KC’s is Transcendental Meditation, Vedic meditation and Qigong.
Thirdly, research also shows that regular meditation can also positively influence telomerase activity in immune cells, and increases the activity of CD8 T-cells which are another white blood cell that are important for preventing the spread of virus.
So why not get yourself into the habit of regular meditation this winter, and see the positive impact it can have on the immune system, and ultimately enhance your body’s ability to fight off infections and disease.
For more meditation tips and information, visit Soelae’s website.