Does Meditation Help your Immune System?

Bacteria

The Floating Brain

The immune system has been called the floating brain due to the ability of immune cells to take part in the chemical messages sent by the brain throughout the rest of the body. Your thoughts, moods, bodily sensations, expectations, feelings are all transmitted to your immune cells. Stress, therefore, has a powerful effect on the immune system.

Red blood cells and bacteria

The Second Brain

The gut, sometimes called the Second Brain, is the location for trillions of micro-organisms called gut microbiota. These microbiotas, which help to distinguish between foreign microbes and those that are endogenous, are main players in the maintenance of the immune system. Stress can strip the gut of one of our prime defenses against invasive microbes or diseases by tipping the microbial balance away from normality towards dysbiosis (a reduction in microbial diversity). The body’s reactions to this can impact the central nervous system quite profoundly, thus suppressing the immune system. Mindfulness helps to maintain a health gut microbiota environment that is not so easily upset by stress.

Practice Mindfulness

The evidential link between meditation, stress levels and immune system functionality is mounting. If stress is one of the main causal factors in the dysfunction of the immune system and mindfulness is one of the key methods for dealing with stress, it makes sense to get into a mindfulness practice as soon as you can. Maintenance of health should be our primary concern and the immune system is our main defense mechanism, so we should keep it in good working order as much as we can.

Man does Qigong on the beach
Woman meditating

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Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch

Author of Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom and Mindfulness Meditation and the Art of Reiki. Creativity and Mindset Coach. Artist.