A 2012 article in the Huffington post outlines a small study by the University Of Wisconsin School Of Medicine and Public Health concluded that individuals who engaged in mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise sustained protective effects against the flu. The study concluded that people who engage in these practices sustained much less severe respiratory symptoms.
Dr. Bruce Barrett, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of medicine of Public Health stated: “The apparent 40 to 50 percent benefit of mindfulness training is a very important finding, as is the apparent 30 to 40 percent benefit of exercise training,”
These findings seem to support the concept that mindfulness meditation may be a great way to make it through the flu season without becoming seriously ill. I have always been skeptical of vaccines and antibiotics and would like to think that I have the power to affect the course of illness on my own without extensive medication. This study seems to provide a tool to lessen my dependence on medications. I used to practice meditation when I was younger and always found that I was calmer and would get sick less often. I now believe that my heightened immune function may be directly related to my practicing mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise.
Perhaps our current medical system needs to begin prescribing mindfulness meditation to patients instead of copious amount of drugs. Maybe if we all began to take care of our minds like some of us take care of our bodies we would not need the level of medical intervention for which the U.S. has become to infamous.