According to preliminary findings from a study conducted at University of Wisconsin-Madison, meditation can significantly reduce the rate, length and severity of a common cold or the flu.
US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reports that the common cold is the reason for the highest number of sick days from school and work as well as visits to the doctors.
A randomised control trial allocated 149 individuals into one of three groups, participants who meditated on a regular basis, participants who did some type of exercise on a regular basis and a control group who did not regularly exercise or meditate.
The results found that the total number of cold or flu days reported were less over the course of 9 months for people that meditate and exercise.
Individuals who meditated reported a total of 257 days of the common cold or flu, people who were in the exercise group reported a total of 241 days of illness, comparatively, the control group had the highest number of days in which they had experienced symptoms of cold and flu was 453.
The severity of sick days was established through daily questionnaires which surveyed cold and flu symptoms including headache, fever and body aches and pains. It was reported that individuals in the meditation and exercise groups had significantly better experiences of the symptoms of cold and flu, additionally it was reported that the recovery time after cold or flu was less for those individuals
It is understood that both meditation and exercise improve immune system function. More research needs to be completed to establish the exact mental and physical changes that arise as a result of meditation.
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