This is a case history of a dermatomyositis patient treated with Transcendental Meditation and visual imagery without drugs for 294 days during which the patient recovered, a low-probability event without conventional therapy. Regression analysis of periodic measures of arm strength, rash, and pain vis-a-vis application of mind-body treatments found significance for both Transcendental Meditation (p=0.02 to 0.001) and visual imagery (p=0.02 to 0.002). Stress had a significant negative impact on skin symptoms but not arm strength. Beneficial effects of meditation had half-lives of 48-59 days for skin symptoms and no detectable decay for arm strength. Benefits of visual imagery were more transient (half-lives 4-18 days). The effects of stress had half-lives of only 1-3 days.
Collins MP, Dunn LF. The effects of meditation and visual imagery on an immune system disorder: dermatomyositis. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 11:275
COMMENT: These data demonstrated a significant relationship between meditation practice/imagery and recovery from dermatomyositis, possibly mediated by influences on the humoral immune system. The decay rate of meditation and visual imagery was much slower than that of stress. Since dermatomyositis is a humorally mediated immune microvasculopathy, these meditation and imagery benefits support growing evidence showing that these techniques influence immune function. A single case report can point the way to the need for large controlled studies, but the concern for side effects attendant to the use of pharmaceuticals is absent here. The greatest risk with meditation and visual imagery is that it might not work.
COPYRIGHT 2005 The Townsend Letter Group
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group