Are Yoga & Meditation Adjunct Covid Treatments?
Yoga and meditation are ancient practices that aim to still the mind, bring the present moment into focus, and cultivate a higher level of consciousness. Many of the benefits of both modalities appear to lie in the domain of psychology. But they also help to fortify the body by reducing inflammation and possibly bolstering the immune system — factors that might make them effective adjunct treatments when it comes to Covid-19.
Deepak Chopra and several academic co-authors put their heads together to pen a paper published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The narrative review focused on seated meditation, asanas (postures), and pranayama (breathing) and how these techniques may improve immune function in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection and resulting Covid-19.
The authors present evidence that points towards the ability of these practices to provide immune effects including improved lung health and reduced viral susceptibility. In particular, both meditation and yoga may serve as effective adjuncts by reducing inflammation.
Severe cases of the disease are associated with an exaggerated inflammatory immune response. These two modalities are able to significantly increase vagal nerve tone, which may be an effective approach against inflammatory-based diseases.
After reviewing the current scientific evidence to justify the use of yoga and mediation as adjunct treatments, the researchers concluded, “..there is evidence of stress and inflammation modulation, and also preliminary evidence for possible forms of immune system enhancement, accompanying the practice of certain forms of meditation, yoga, and pranayama, along with potential implications for counteracting some forms of infectious challenges”.
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