A large statistical analysis of multiple studies on body-mind therapies such as meditation, tai chi, qigong and yoga found that the practices effectively reduce inflammation and show promise in modulating the immune system.
Scientists at the Tufts University School of Medicine analyzed the results of 34 controlled scientific studies that collectively assessed 2,219 people.
Each study involved the use of at least one mind-body practice for between seven and 16 weeks and measured immune system health using multiple biological markers. Eighteen of the studies specifically examined inflammation factors, while seven evaluated antiviral-related immunity. Nine of the studies measured C-reactive protein (CRP) levels—an indicator of cardiovascular- related inflammation.
The analysis revealed that mind-body therapies reduced CRP levels in subjects with high risk factors for cancer, diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. The scientists added that some of the research suggested that mind-body therapy may also increase immunity against viral infections.