People who meditate say that the practice calms them and improves their performance on everyday tasks. There may be foundations of these benefits in the brain and immune system, a new study finds.
Psychologist Richard J. Davidson of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his colleagues studied 41 employees of a biotechnology company, 25 of whom completed an 8-week meditation program. The scientists measured brain wave activity in all participants before, immediately following, and 4 months after the meditation program. Volunteers also received an influenza vaccination at the end of the program and gave blood samples 1 month and 2 months later, enabling the researchers to assess the volunteers' immune responses to the vaccine.