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Mind-body therapies and control of inflammatory biology: A descriptive review

updated

Tags: treatment, good news, inflam-sys, exercise, mind, self-treatment

Three articles on PainSci cite Bower 2016: (1) Complete Guide to Low Back Pain(2) The Tyranny of Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness(3) Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation

PainSci notes on Bower 2016:

This is a qualitative review of 26 randomized controlled trials of the biological effects of mind-body therapies like Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, and meditation. The studies show “mixed effects” on inflammation (CRP, IL-6, stimulated cytokine production, etc), and more consistent results for “genomic markers.” Based on this evidence, it seems likely that these activities are meaningfully good for you, and probably helpful for some kinds of chronic pain.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The use of mind-body therapies, including Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, and meditation, has grown steadily in recent years. These approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life, and research has begun to examine the impact of these therapies on biological processes, including inflammation. A review of 26 randomized controlled trials was conducted to describe the effects of mind-body therapies (MBTs) on circulating, cellular, and genomic markers of inflammation. This qualitative evaluation showed mixed effects of MBTs on circulating inflammatory markers, including CRP and IL-6, and on measures of stimulated cytokine production. More consistent findings were seen for genomic markers, with trials showing decreased expression of inflammation-related genes and reduced signaling through the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB. Potential mechanisms for these effects are discussed, including alterations in neuroendocrine, neural, and psychological and behavioral processes.

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