From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Traditional meditation is an ancient practice that is known to calm the mind. And a study indicates a lesser-known branch could reduce physical responses to stress that have been linked to medical conditions.
This specialized form is called compassion meditation. It’s centered on reflecting on selfless acts toward others.
Emory University researcher Charles Raison found that practicing compassion meditation reduces the body’s inflammatory responses to stress. He says it offers promise as a way to prevent many physical conditions such as heart disease.
“If one is interested in helping the body cope with the challenges of daily life then a compassion-based mediation practice may be a very viable pathway to turning down these inflammatory responses.” (12 seconds)
The study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011