Boost your immune system’s strength with yoga, meditation and pranayama

You may associate your daily yoga practice with stimulating stress relief, easing your anxieties or getting your daily exercise in, but now you may appreciate it in a new context—as a potential supplementary treatment for COVID-19.

In a recent review of over 100 different scientific studies published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found evidence to suggest that meditation and yoga should be considered as potential adjunctive treatment options for COVID-19. Adjunctive treatments are remedies that supplement a primary treatment option, such as a drug or vaccine. As potential adjunctive treatments for COVID-19, yoga, meditation and pranayama practices could provide supplementary support to a future vaccine, should such a treatment become available.

The researchers, led by William Bushell, PhD, a biophysical/medical anthropologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pointed to a body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties of such practices. Meditation and yoga increase a practitioner’s vagal tone, part of the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. The vagal tone regulates the body’s stress response, making them effective treatment options for stress-based trauma and inflammatory-based diseases.

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