Many people use yoga and meditation to ease stress. Studies at UCLA have shown that a quick dozen minutes a day of a type of meditative yoga called Kirtan Kriya Meditation (KKM) significantly reduces the stress levels of folks who are caregivers for Alzheimer’s sufferers.
The latest UCLA research shows that KKM reduces the body’s production of proteins linked to inflammation. That can potentially drop the risk of both depression and heart disease.
“The goal of the study was to determine if meditation might alter the activity of inflammatory and antiviral proteins that shape immune cell gene expression,” says researcher Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “Our analysis showed a reduced activity of those proteins linked directly to increased inflammation.”
“This is encouraging news. Caregivers often don’t have the time, energy, or contacts that could bring them a little relief from the stress of taking care of a loved one with dementia, so practicing a brief form of yogic meditation, which is easy to learn, is a useful too.”