Summary: Meditation and mindfulness are becoming increasingly popular in the health sphere, and rightly so – ample evidence indicates that these practices are extremely beneficial for health. However, as far as their practical efficacy in managing IBD, the jury is still out. Clinical trials in IBD have fairly consistently shown improvements in overall quality of life, but thus far haven’t demonstrated improvements in flare rate or severity. That said, trials in a variety of patient populations have shown that mindfulness appears to down-regulate NF-κB activity, reflecting an overall less inflammatory gene expression profile. Other evidence supports the idea that mindfulness markedly changes how the central nervous system physiologically responds to stressors, including down-regulation of sympathetic nervous system and HPA-axis activity. Taken together, it appears likely that mindfulness could confer more measurable benefits with regards to inflammation and disease progression in IBD over the long term.
This article is part of the IBD Index. Last updated on March 14, 2022.
Mind-body medicine is currently an area of particular research focus for me, so you can expect this post to be expanded and updated in the near future! Follow me on Instagram for personal content related to mind-body medicine, as well as snippets of interesting research that might not make it into a blog post.
Mindfulness is one of those golden health practices that I call “no brainers” – in other words, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. At the outset, I can say that I’d recommend some type of mindfulness practice to every person with IBD, almost without exception (and anyone who knows me knows that I’m not usually in the business of recommending things).
So if you want to learn more, read on. Otherwise, save your time and go meditate![Read more…] about Meditation and Mindfulness for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease