Meditation to Treat Inflammation
The benefits of meditation have been studying for many years but for the first time a study has shown the effect of meditation on genes. The study conducted by researchers in France, Spain and Wisconsin shows that mindful meditation can alter the expression of genes that relate to inflammation, specifically those targeted by anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.
The study compared a group of experienced meditators practicing mindfulness to that of a control group of others engaged in non-meditative activities. At the commencement of the study, there was no difference between the groups. After an 8 hour period, the group that mediated shows a suppression of inflammatory genes. The gene suppression was associated with increased cortisol recovery time when exposed to a social stress test.
“The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions,” Kaliman says. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”