PainSci summary of Bower 2016?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
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.
- “Well-being and immune response: a multi-system perspective,” Julie Lasselin, Elena Alvarez-Salas, and Jan-Sebastian Grigoleit, Curr Opin Pharmacol, 2016.
- “Low-grade inflammation may moderate the effect of behavioral treatment for chronic pain in adults,” Julie Lasselin, Mike K Kemani, Marie Kanstrup, Gunnar L Olsson, John Axelsson, Anna Andreasson, Mats Lekander, and Rikard K Wicksell, J Behav Med, 2016.
These three articles on PainScience.com cite Bower 2016 as a source:
- Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- The Tyranny of Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness — Do you really need to try them? How much do they matter for recovery from conditions like low back pain?
- Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation — One possible sneaky cause of puzzling chronic pain
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.