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Meditation and Illness

Dr. Bruce Barrett of the University of Wisconsin-Madison led research to discover how employees could avoid sick leave during cold and flu seasons. Neither flu shots nor increased vitamin D were the focus of this study .

Instead, three groups were tracked with their work attendance during Madison’s long flu season of 2011-2012. One group meditated, another group did steady moderate exercise, and the third group did neither.

Although the training for the exercise and meditation groups was weekly for eight weeks only, the work attendance tracking continued throughout the late fall, winter, and early spring.

The do-nothing group had 40 bouts of respiratory illness, averaging nine days missed for each. Both the moderate exercise and meditation groups had considerably fewer flu episodes and colds, 26 with the exercise group and 27 for the meditators.

But the meditation group had the fewest amount of days missed from work. Their recovery times were fastest.

Dr. Barrett attributed the faster recovery time to how the meditators seemed to suffer less from each bout of flu or cold.

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