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Reducing stress reduces inflammation and supports a healthy immune system

Reducing stress will support your immune system and reduce inflammation. Stress can be a major influence on metabolic disease and vascular disease progression [1]. New research in the field of the ‘neuroimmune axis’ confirms a strong connection between the immune system and the nervous system. This new research shows that the sensory nervous system responds to and regulates the immune system in regard to inflammation of the skin epithelium layers and immunity [2].

Girl meditating on the beach

It has been shown that stressful events can be a catalyst for negative changes in immunity and changes in the way we process emotional information, this link is drawn between stress and depression [3]. Implying that psychological stress leads to the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of depression.


Research shows deep breathing, meditation and other calming exercises bring down over-activity of the autonomic nervous system This calms the mind from anxiety, reduces the stress response, and regulates heart rhythm & lower blood pressure. In particular, mindfulness meditation can work as a mental training framework, which allows us to foster the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Studies have analysed the effect of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of immunity, inflammation, and biological aging [4](specifically looking at downregulating C-reactive protein ‘CRP’, Nuclear factor-κB, and increasing CD4+ T cell count) with promising results.

Man sitting by the beach at sunset meditating

There are plenty of guides on the internet about learning meditation. A simple search for “how to practice mindfulness meditation” will bring up pages of results with an abundance of informative resources. Start practicing meditation today to start receiving the benefits that science shows us are available to everyone!


References

Ekesbo R, Nilsson PM, Sjölund K. Effects of anti-secretory factor (ASF) on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A double-blind, randomized study. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2008;26(2):106-110. doi:10.1080/02813430802005894

Hálfdánarson ÓÖ, Pottegård A, Björnsson ES, et al. Proton-pump inhibitors among adults: a nationwide drug-utilization study. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2018;11:1756284818777943-1756284818777943. doi:10.1177/1756284818777943Trier AM, Mack MR, Kim BS. The Neuroimmune Axis in Skin Sensation, Inflammation, and Immunity. J Immunol. 2019;202(10):2829 LP - 2835. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1801473

Maydych V. The Interplay Between Stress, Inflammation, and Emotional Attention: Relevance for Depression. Front Neurosci. 2019;13:384. doi:10.3389/fnins.2019.00384

Black DS, Slavich GM. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1373(1):13-24. doi:10.1111/nyas.12998

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