Optimism Strengthens Your Immune System

In a study of about 125 first-year law students, researchers examined the relationship between personal optimism and cell-mediated immunity (CMI), which plays a central role in protecting you against viral infections.

At five points over the course of the school year, participants answered a series of questions and had their CMI measured through a simple skin test.

To gauge their optimism level, they were asked to what degree they agreed with a series of statements, including “I will be less successful than most of my classmates” and “It’s unlikely that I will fail.”

The end-of-year results were decisive. Changes in CMI across time correlated with changes in optimism. When optimism increased, so did CMI. When optimism decreased, so did CMI.

Sources:

Miller-McCune February 25, 2010

Psychological Science February 24, 2010

Meditation And Your Health

Meditation is a mind-body practice in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). There are many types of meditation, most of which originated in ancient religious and spiritual traditions.

Generally, a person who is meditating uses certain techniques, such as a specific posture, focused attention, and an open attitude toward distractions. Meditation may be practiced for many reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological balance, to cope with illness, or to enhance overall wellness.

This Backgrounder provides a general introduction to meditation and suggests some resources for more information.

For the full article, go tohttp://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/meditation.pdf