Meditation to Overcome Stress and Inflammation

meditation-for-stress-inflammationMeditation significantly reduces the state anxiety in every session you meditate. The exact mechanism by which meditation reduces stress and enhances immunity remains unclear, but its basic principles are understood. Stress and Inflammation are directly related. Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, and creates inflammation. Mindfulness meditation along with cascaded Om meditation reduces the stress levels and the inflammation to a substantial extent. Here is the explanation how meditation do it in a smart, and safe way:

Stress and Inflammation

Our stress response system evolved to protect us from danger. However, it cannot distinguish between a saber-toothed lion in the forest and a harsh email.  Because there are no longer saber toothed lions to fear or cave bears to battle, the pressures of survival have become more psychosocially bound.  Each time one of our three primal survival needs are not met—for safety, reward and social-connection, the “fight or flight” stress team of biochemical reactions in the body kicks into gear.

geneOver time, the effects of chronic stress are insidious, reflected in our lifestyle choices: we toss and turn each night struggling to sleep; use caffeine to jolt us into alertness in the morning; confront mid-afternoon slumps with a cookie or soda; and then numb and soothe ourselves at night with junk food, alcohol, social media, or medication. We wear our “crazy busy” badge of honor with pride, while sacrificing prime time with family and friends in order to keep pace with the demands at work.

Inflammation and Lifestyle

Inflammation is typically thought of as the body’s primary response to physical injury or infection. However, there is now substantial evidence that psychological stress can trigger significant increases in inflammatory activity. In the body, all kinds of stress lead to one destination: inflammation—that “fire” in our cells. Inflammation is simply the body’s protective immune response to any kind of toxin or injury. Think of how your skin recovers from a cut, for example—there may be swelling and redness followed by scab formation and, finally, healing.

Inflammation and Chronic Disease

inflammation-chronicWhen our life spins out of control, we turn on genes that cause chronic inflammation, the root cause of the largest global health epidemic of our time: lifestyle-related chronic disease (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety and others). Increases in inflammation can in turn elicit profound changes in behavior, which include the initiation of depressive symptoms such as sad mood, anhedonia, fatigue, psychomotor retardation, and social-behavioral withdrawal. Inflammation is recognised as a fundamental determinant of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Chronic systemic inflammation is flagged using single blood tests for inflammatory biomarkers such as fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, and others.

Meditation Stress and Inflammation

In fact, in a laboratory-based experiment it is found that the plasma concentration of inflammatory biomarkers can change very rapidly (< 1 min) after one brief episode of mild mental stress and after a brief meditation ( <3 min). Stress and meditation work in opposite direction. The concentration of inflammatory biomarkers in the blood has a physiological continuous oscillation during anyone’s everyday life experience. The delicate balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory processes can lead to beneficial or detrimental effects to heart and overall health. Mindfulness meditation along with cascaded Om meditation has an balancing effect on pro- and anti-inflammatory processes.

Summary:

In modern life, financial strain, job strain, and social network strain, can be managed objectively through proper meditation. The immune system is critical for human health and well-being, as it helps coordinate the body’s response to physical injuries and infections that, if left unaddressed, could cause illness or death. As the stress-activated signaling pathways are elucidated, it is becoming evident that these pathways will be important targets for novel anti-inflammatory meditation techniques. Om meditation has significant role to deactivate the stress-activated signaling pathways.

Read Top 10 Positive Habits for Stress Free Life

References:

1. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief

2. From Stress to Inflammation and Major Depressive Disorder: A Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression

3. Alterations in Resting-State Functional Connectivity Link Mindfulness Meditation With Reduced Interleukin-6: A Randomized Controlled Trial

4. Yoga The Science of Well-Being – Dr. Amit Ray

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