Can meditation actually strengthen the immune system? What exactly happens in your body when you meditate? If you're looking for a simple and free way to boost your immune system, you've come to the right place. At the same time, you'll be doing your mental health an incredible favor by meditating every day. Numerous studies have proven the positive effect of meditation on our mental and physical health.
To what extent the meditating immune system and Strengthens defensesI would like to explain to you now in this article. Have fun!
How meditation strengthens your immune system
You sit comfortably, close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out, emptying your mind and focusing on your breath. You do this for about 20 minutes a day and already your defenses are turning into an elite unit? Let's first look at what happens in your body when you meditate.
One of the physical benefits of meditation is feeling less stress in all areas of your body. Through regular meditation reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. And stress is a real killer for your immune system. I'm sure you know that. So here we find the first hint that you can strengthen your immune system with meditation.
The amygdala - a region of the brain responsible for processing Emotions such as fear and aggression is important - is less active after a meditation session. This reduces stress but also anxiety. Less anxiety means less stress on your body and therefore your immune system can work better. Note number two that meditation can strengthen defenses. So far, so good.
Blood pressure, heart & respiration
While you meditate, has been shown to lower your blood pressure. When blood pressure is well controlled, this in turn helps your immune system. Tip number three for strong defenses through meditation.
Do you meditate regularly, your heart rate slows down and your breathing regulates itself. This reduces the risk of many diseases, including high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. And sure, you guess right, your immune system can also naturally work better due to this positive effect of meditation. So a fourth indication of the positive effect of meditation on the immune system.
Meditating strengthens your immune system
And last but not least: Meditation increases the number of antibodies in the bloodwhich help fight infections. Thus, meditating strengthens your immune system, which is probably the most important indication of better defenses through meditation.
Meditation & Immune System: Three Studies
But I can tell you a lot, right? Let's take a look at the facts supported by scientific studies! I've picked out three of them for you. They prove that you can strengthen your immune system with meditation.
In of this American study the University of California it was found that HIV-positive patients who meditated regularly maintained their CD-4 levels (white blood cells that protect the body from infection), while those who did not meditate showed a serious decline in these levels.
In another Study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin flu vaccinations were administered to a group of test subjects. 25 people of these, meditated regularly over a period of eight weeks. Compared to the rest of the control group, who did not meditate, they had much higher antibody levels in their blood.
Researcher Carolyn Y. Fang from the Temple University in Philadelphia also has a eight weeks study conducted. Actually, this was supposed to be about stress reduction through mindfulness meditation. Through blood tests, however, she found that in addition to better handling of stress, there had also been a significant improvement in the immune system. And that in just two months. The so-called killer cells were significantly more active after the end of the study.
Increase in killer cells against viruses
Killer cells - also known as NK cells - belong to the lymphocytes, a subgroup of white blood cells. They detect abnormal cells such as tumor cells or virus-infected cells and render them harmless. In addition to the increased activity of the NZ cells, the subjects also had less of the inflammatory marker CRP in the blood present.
So meditating has been proven to strengthen your immune system. So? What do you say? Time to look at how exactly you could go about it, right?
Meditate to strengthen the immune system: The implementation
A very popular meditation from mindfulness teaching is the body scan. As the name suggests, you scan your entire body during meditation. The body scan has many positive effects. It helps you to stay in the here and now with your attention, you train your role as an observer, switch off your inner nag and evaluator and get to know yourself and your body better. You become more aware of what's going on inside you and realize what you need. And of course, this meditation strengthens your defenses.
Strengthen the immune system with the meditation "Body-Scan
First, sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe in and out deeply and arrive.
Then focus your attention on your left big toe. Feel inside, feel your toe. Is it cold or warm, does it tingle slightly or is it completely relaxed? It is important to remain in the role of an observer. That is, you perceive what you feel, but you do not evaluate what you feel. You just let it be there.
Then move your attention to the next toe. In this way you go through all 5 toes of the left foot one after the other. You observe, feel, perceive and stay in the here and now. When your attention wanders away, gently bring it back and direct it again to your left foot.
Stay with you
Then continue down the left foot, feeling the bottom of your foot, your heel, the top of your foot, the sides and your ankle. Inhale deeply and imagine your breath flowing through your body into your left foot and spreading out. Then continue to feel up over your lower leg, knee, thigh. Send your breath into your left leg. Trace for a moment.
To balance it out, repeat your body journey on the right side, of course. Start again at the right big toe and continue until you reach the thigh. Now send your breath into the right leg and feel for it.
Then focus on your pelvis, your hips and the sensations in them. Breathe consciously into these regions of your body and imagine the breath expanding into them. Continue to move toward your lower back. Feel vertebra by vertebra, breathe into your back, and then move on to your abdomen.
The belly as the center of your feelings
This area in the center of your body is often particularly cluttered with emotions. Therefore, stay a little longer with your belly and notice everything you feel. Then breathe deeply into your belly and imagine how your abdominal space expands. Make space for your feelings.
Continue to your chest and upper back. Feel how your chest rises and falls, how your heart beats and finally supply these regions with fresh air.
Travel through the body without judging
Now direct your attention to the fingers of your right hand, your palm, the back of your hand and wrist, moving on to your right forearm, elbow and upper arm. Repeat with your left arm. Send your breath into both arms. Feel the oxygen flowing in and spreading to the tips of your fingers.
Next, focus your attention on your shoulders, neck and throat. Observe if you notice any tension here, feel each muscle. Observe without judging. Breathe into your shoulders and neck. Let your breath flow especially around the regions that you perceive as tense.
Release the tension in the face
Now wander to your face. Feel your jaw, your lips, your tongue, continue towards your nose, over your cheeks to your eyes. Travel with your attention further up to the forehead, over your scalp until you reach the highest point of your body, the vertex. Breathe into the regions of your face you have just sensed and trace.
Once again perceive your body as a whole and observe how you feel. Enjoy the feeling of calm and relaxation.
Meditate for the immune system & to turn off the inner critic
The body scan is an effective meditation to strengthen your immune system. It is not so easy to turn off the inner critic. But, as with everything in life, practice makes perfect! Practice makes perfect! If you keep your eye on the ball, you will find it easier and easier over time to observe without judging. Then you can get the most benefit and strengthen your defenses with this meditation.
If sitting still for long periods of time isn't your thing, you can still meditate to boost your immune system. Huh? Yes, really! Because, there are also types of meditation where you can move! I'll introduce you to an example of this now.
Strengthening defenses with moving meditation
The simplest kind of meditative movement is a mindful walk. The best place to do this is in the forest, at a lake or in the mountains. But the urban park will do as well. Move consciously while you walk and feel into your body. Pay attention to your feet and what you feel with them. How does the ground feel? Feel your legs as you walk, how they move rhythmically, your belly, your back. You'll notice: The whole thing is like a little body scan while running. Notice how your arms and hands sway as you walk. Feel the fresh air on your face or the wind in your hair.
From inner perception to outer
When you are finished with yourself, you look at your surroundings. What can you see, what colors and shapes are there around you? What sounds do you hear and what smells does your nose perceive? Look at leaves and flowers. Take a leaf in your hand and feel its texture. Maybe it is cool and wet or quite dry and rough. When your mind wanders, find a focus point to hold onto, for example, your breath. The mindful walk is a kind of meditative movement, that is, a form of meditation that strengthens your defenses.
Strengthen the immune system and defenses through meditation - it works!
So what we see very clearly from the previous information and examples is that you can strengthen your defenses with meditation. And this in a very simple way. In addition, you also do your mental health a lot of good, which can not be wrong in challenging times like these.
Do you have questions about meditation and defenses? Then feel free to write me a message on my blog stay-relaxed.com or just leave me a comment below this post.
I wish you much joy in the implementation & stay relaxed!
PS.: Look you gladly still something more in the Health Blog to learn more about natural healthy living. Learn for example, Why consumption does not necessarily make you happy or why you Spend more time outside in nature should.