People suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma — in which psychological stress plays a major role — may benefit from mindfulness meditation techniques, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists with the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds in the Waisman Center.
Mindfulness meditation consists of continuously focusing attention on the
breath, bodily sensations, and mental content while seated, walking, or
The results show that behavioral interventions designed to reduce
emotional reactivity are beneficial to people suffering from chronic
inflammatory conditions. The study also suggests that mindfulness
techniques may be more effective in relieving inflammatory symptoms than
other activities that promote well-being.
The mindfulness-based approach is not a magic bullet, said Melissa
Rosenkranz, assistant scientist at the center and lead author of the
paper, which was published recently in the journal Brain, Behavior, and
“The mindfulness-based approach to stress reduction may offer a
lower-cost alternative or complement to standard treatment, and it can
be practiced easily by patients in their own homes, whenever they need,”