Authors: Wan-chung Hu
Meditation is a common practice in certain religions. Non religion meditation practice is now more and more popular. Meditation can provide a stress relief method via relaxation reaction. It can enhance parasympathetic tone and suppress sympathetic tone. Sympathetic nerve system is a fear-and-fight stress machinery accompanying steroid secretion. Majority of anxiety and depression patients are found hypersecretion of glucocorticoid with enhancing stress response. Meditation can lower cortisol, up-regulate dorpamine/serotonine/oxytocin/endorphin to reduce stress reaction. In addition, parasympathetic system enhances adaptive immunity and suppresses innate immunity; sympathetic system enhances innate immunity and suppresses adaptive immunity. Thus, meditation can help us to booster host adaptive immunity to cope with infections. Thus, mediation can be useful for managing psychiatric disorders as well as enhancing host immunity.
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