Killing the common cold viruses with meditation?

Would you volunteer to participate in a study where viruses are injected in order to measure the risk that you catch a cold? 276 volunteers actually participated in an American study of this kind*). After the injection of the virus, the participants stayed in quarantine for five days. Then measures were taken of congested noses, and the snot was weighed.

The results indicated that stressed persons more easily catch a cold, which may not come as a big surprise, and those who experience chronic stress are most likely to catch a cold. The researchers wanted to assess the participants’ level of stress. After the necessary interviews, the conclusion left no doubt: those who had been most stressed were also the hardest hit by the cold.

Professor of immunology at NTNU, Vibeke Videm, reports several studies with similar results: stress weakens the body’s immune system. Those who have been stressed over a long time catch a cold more easily, and their infections are stronger. Medical students who got a vaccine just before their exam had a poorer effect of it than those students who got it before or after periods of such stress.

Cannot kill the virus

According to professor Videm, different mechanisms can contribute to bodily damages if one is stressed, e.g. due to psychic stressors. Changes of hormones and neurotransmitters occur during periods of stress, making the body less able to kill the cold viruses. Usually, the body produces protection cells that kill cells infected with viruses, but after long term stress the body produces fewer such cells. The viruses intrude the body more easily.

Meditation helps

Even though research supports that stress makes you more easily infected, there are some simple actions we can take to improve the body’s immune system, e.g. good stress reduction with a suitable method – there are several such techniques available. Videm emphasizes that e.g. meditation is a widely used method. General advices for good health may also help, like a healthy diet and regular physical activity also contribute to strengthening of the immune system.
*) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118355109

6 Comments

  1. I’m 100% behind this. I definitely agree that stress and anxiety can increase susceptibility to illness and meditation can obviously reduce stress and anxiety.

  2. I would love to try this, I hate being prescribed with antibiotics and synthetic drugs very time I have a flu.

  3. Meditation is my medication.

  4. Mediation has changed my life!
    I owe 80-90% of my happiness to meditation. I am a personal trainer in Washington DC and Alexandria Virginia area. http://www.myur.com/ 3 months ago I lost one my personal training centers due to economy and high rent. I lost over 600,000 over night by closing my center. Because I meditate 2-3x a day, I did not lose my mind. I focused on my other locations and that focus with help of meditation got me out of the black hole I was in 3 months ago. Now I encourage all of clients to meditate.

    Thank you
    Mustafa Nazary

  5. Meditating is key to a good health and life balance. I do agree that mediation is a good way to heal, release and balance ones life. As a personal trainer in Washington D.C, I encourage my clients to finish out their sessions in a Savasna position for at least 5 mins. This let’s the body know that the strenuous activity is over and its time to relax. I suggest everyone include at least 5 mins of meditation into their day.

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  6. The mind controls the body. If I meditate my thinking becomes very sharp and I dont get easily bothered. Yes, Meditation is my medication.

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