Psychoneuroimmunology, Meditation, and Stress Management

Stress, Chronic Diseases, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Stress, Depression, Inflammation, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Meditation is a mind-body practice that may help with the management of stress. It may reduce the allostatic load and improve the overall well-being both mentally and physically. There are many different approaches or styles of meditation. The practice of PsychoNeuroEndocrinoImmunology-based meditation (PNEIMED) is the integration of philosophical lessons and Buddhist-style meditation (Bottaccioli et al., 2014).

A recent study assessed the influences of the PNEIMED training for four days (or 30 h) on stress among 125 healthy subjects (Bottaccioli et al., 2014). The participants answered questionnaires about stress. Their salivary cortisol levels were examined after awakening and while taking a challenging mental task.

The study found that the PNEIMED training resulted in significantly lower self-rated distress scores (Bottaccioli et al., 2014). The group with training had better psychological well-being and lower cortisol levels upon awakening. This group also had lower amplitudes and durations of the cortisol responses during the challenging tasks.

These results indicate that even brief PNEIMED training may have good effects on relieving stress and anxiety (Bottaccioli et al., 2014). Such practice may be beneficial for those under job-associated stress conditions. However, more studies with larger population groups may be needed to determine the minimum and optimal dosages and components of such trainings in meditation.

Reference:

Bottaccioli F, Carosella A, Cardone R, Mambelli M, Cemin M, D’Errico MM, Ponzio E, Bottaccioli AG, Minelli A. Brief training of psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology-based meditation (PNEIMED) reduces stress symptom ratings and improves control on salivary cortisol secretion under basal and stimulated conditions. Explore (NY). 2014 May-Jun;10(3):170-9. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2014.02.002.

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