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Meditation May Prevent Colds and Flu
By Paulette
1/18/2013 9:01:00 AM
I've been reading this week about a study performed by the University of Wisconsin that showed that mindfulness meditation or moderate exercise can reduce instances of cold and flu. This information comes a little late, as I have been suffering from a cold for 2 weeks now. But at least I am armed with this information for the future. The study consisted of 149 adults age 50 or older. Participants were randomly placed in 3 separate groups. During the 8 week study, one group used a mindfulness meditation practiced based off of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. In the UW study, participants practiced 45 minutes a day and gathered for a 2 hour weekly session. Another group practiced an exercise regimen with the same schedule guidelines. The third group was the control group that did not incorporate either one of the practices into their schedule. The goal of the study was to determine whether the practice of mindfulness meditation or moderately intense exercise could reduce a person's susceptibility to respiratory illness and reduce the duration and severity of the infection. The results of the study showed that participants in the exercise and meditation study group had fewer incidences of respiratory illness, missed fewer days of work and showed a reduction in the duration of the illness if they did get sick. These results are promising and according to the lead doctor on the study, Dr. Bruce Barrett, more funding had been received for another, larger study. Now if I can just remind myself about how horrible I have felt for the past few weeks and use that as impetus to start meditating or exercising again. The study Meditation oråÊExerciseåÊfor Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial appeared in the July 2012 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

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