WRITTEN BY: CASSIDY ARMBRUSTER
Chronic inflammation is a response from your immune system that can leave you feeling feverish, fatigued and in overall pain. Most of the time, inflammation is a good and natural part of healing as it’s a response to an infection or injury. But what happens when the inflammation becomes chronic, eventually damaging cells and putting you at risk for disease and disorders?
You may feel desperate for natural remedies to reduce the inflammation and get yourself back to feeling normal. This article will introduce you to the benefits of meditation in reducing chronic inflammation.
3 Causes of Chronic Inflammation
*It should be noted that many times, chronic inflammation has no exact cause!
- First, you should be aware that certain lifestyle habits may be causing chronic inflammation. Diets rich in sugar and refined carbs, for example, tend to increase inflammation.
- Chronic inflammation can be brought on by an inactive lifestyle. Research has concluded that physical inactivity is correlated with increased inflammation in the body.
Exposure to polluted air or industrial chemicals is a major cause of chronic inflammation.
Meditation for Chronic Inflammation
Now that you are aware of some factors that cause inflammation, let’s help you fight chronic inflammation through meditation!
Research suggests that meditation may significantly reduce inflammation in your body. Meditation for chronic inflammation consists of a variety of techniques such as paying attention to one’s breathing and bodily sensations while participating in a physical activity like yoga.
The Science Behind Meditation and Inflammation
Psychological stress is a huge part of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry indicates that mediation aids in inflammation reduction by impacting brain circuits. The study showed that participants that underwent a meditation program had lower levels of Interleukin-6, a pro-inflammatory property. The study reported that meditation helped the brain manage stress and thereby led to reduced levels of inflammation.
4 Techniques to Get You Meditating
- Mindful Walking- Maybe you aren’t so keen to sit down in a comfortable place and meditate. Mindful walking is practiced by focusing on the act of walking and the sensation of your feet touching the ground while developing an awareness of the surrounding environment.
- Body scan or progressive relaxation- This technique involves scanning your body for tension points and allowing those points to release. Typically, one starts at one end of the body and makes their way to the other end, progressively relaxing the entire body.
- Breath Awareness- Breath awareness is a technique often used in mindfulness meditation as it involves being mindful of each slow and deep breath.
- Yoga and more specifically, Kundalini Yoga, is a great meditation technique that focuses on blending movements with breath. This active mediation technique is great as it is also a form of physical activity for your body.
Even taking one minute out of your day to recharge yourself through a meditation exercise could provide your body a world of physical and mental support, which is why we have listed three one minute activities to get you started on your journey.
One-Minute Meditation Exercises:
- Take five deep breaths and keep close attention to your breathing.
- Tightly clench your fist and slowly release your fingers. Conclude the exercise by gently stroking your hands.
- Mindfully stretch your arms, legs, and body for a minimum of one minute.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.