It seems as if meditation and mindfulness are finally starting to get the attention they deserve and are becoming a little more ‘mainstream.’
And you may have heard of some of the benefits that a regular mind-body practice can bring to your life.
Tons of research and studies have shown that regular meditation can help improve levels of depression, anxiety, and even your attention span.
But mind-body practices can do more than just improve your mental health, they can help keep your immune system strong as well. It’s one of the big reasons I’m such a proponent of incorporating these types of habits into your daily routine.
You see, stress creates problems for your health. It’s one of those unseen and often overlooked factors that impact people negatively. Stress has been proven to lower your immune system function. And yet for some reason, we have a really hard time letting go of stress.
Enter the mind-body practice.
These soothing activities can’t make stress disappear from your life, but they can give you amazing tools to help manage stress and become overall calmer and cooler in the face of crises.
What Is A Mind-Body Practice?
Your mind and your body are inextricably linked.
Things that you think and feel can trigger a cascade of reactions in your body. Certain chemicals can be released, your heart rate can change, and your digestion can worsen. All based off of things you can’t touch or see, only feel.
A good mind-body practice acknowledges and aims to nurture this relationship. These therapies focus on how the brain, mind, and body interact. They examine the ways in which one can influence the other. They incorporate all aspects of a person, from social and spiritual to emotional and behavioral.
Some examples of mind-body practices include:
- Sound healing
- Making art
- Playing or writing music
- Listening to music
- Tai Chi
- Guided imagery
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Massage therapy
- Walking in nature
Basically, a mind-body practice is something you do that makes you feel good. Not something just for the sake of being productive, but for the sake of nurturing your soul and your spirit.
And truthfully, you can make your practice your own. Do what you feel called to do. Do what you feel most comfortable doing. Most of all, just choose something you think you’ll enjoy and try it.
At the very least, try to spend a few minutes alone on a daily basis with just your quiet thoughts. No TV, no internet, no phone. Just try to sit by yourself and focus on your breath. Aim for 2 minutes the first day and add a minute on every other day. This is a great place to start for many people and may just be the beginning of an amazing habit for you.
Most of these therapies you can do yourself, in the comfort of your own home. Others you can certainly learn about and practice with a professional teacher, too. Sometimes you can study these techniques with an app or a reputable YouTube instructor. None of them cost very much money, if any, to start.
>> Why not make today the day to begin?
How Can A Mind-Body Practice Improve Immunity?
Scientists have known for years that the more successful a person is at keeping stress levels down, the healthier they can be. And they’ve also made that connection through copious scientific studies.
In one large review, researchers concluded that mind-body therapies have anti-viral capabilities and reduce markers of inflammation. And in another, even larger review, scientists found a relationship between relaxation therapy and immune response, specifically from Immunoglobulin A. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody produced by the immune system to help ward off infection.
Another review focused on meditation’s healing benefits. These scientists uncovered a relationship between meditation and biological aging, cell-mediated immunity, and markers of inflammation. Specifically, they found:
- Meditation increased telomerase activity (when telomerase deteriorate, it’s been linked to aging and cancer)
- Mediation lowered inflammation markers
- Meditation increased CD-4 cells, which are soldiers of the immune system
Yet another comprehensive review suggested that mind-body therapies decreased the expression of inflammation-related genes. This means that incorporating a mind-body practice into your life can possibly alter your chance of developing a chronic disease.
If that’s not a reason to at least give one a try, I don’t know what is.
Let’s Make A Game Plan
Need a little more guidance on exactly what all of this mind-body therapy is all about?
Wondering how to make the most of your health — while incorporating your mind, body and spirit?
I love working with patients to build up their bodies’ natural immunity by focusing on decreasing stress, improving gut health, and in the process increase emotional regulation and energy.
In my practice, we work with patients from all over the United States — no need to visit in person. You can book a free 15-minute consultation with me here. Let me see how I can help you strengthen your immune system, access boundless energy, and live your best life!
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