Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Compassionate Meditation

Snidely, Dudley, and Nell found on Wikipedia.

Inflammation is the villain in autoimmune disease. It's sort of a Snidely Whiplash kind of character. Most of our medications used in autoimmune disease combat the resulting inflammation caused by errant inflammation-causing lymphocytes

I am intrigued by an article posted on October 8th on Medical News Today that describes another potential tool in the fight against Snidely Inflammation  - compassion meditation. 
Data from a new study suggests that individuals who engage in compassion meditation may benefit by reductions in inflammatory and behavioral responses to stress that have been linked to depression and a number of medical illnesses. The study's findings are published online at and in the medical journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. 
What's compassion meditation? 
Although secular in presentation, the compassion meditation program was based on a thousand-year-old Tibetan Buddhist mind-training practice called "lojong" in Tibetan. Lojong practices utilize a cognitive, analytic approach to challenge an individual's unexamined thoughts and emotions toward other people, with the long-term goal of developing altruistic emotions and behavior towards all people. 
 Further study is required, but investigators are encouraged by the potential of this kind of meditation.
".. these initial results are quite exciting," says Pace. "If practicing compassion meditation does reduce inflammatory responses to stress it might offer real promise as a means of preventing many conditions associated with stress and with inflammation including major depression, heart disease and diabetes." 
It seems that the "love thy neighbor as thyself" concept is good for all of us. 

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