Mucosal immunity modulated by integrative meditation in a dose-dependent fashion

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Feb;16(2):151-5. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0234.


Objective: Prior research had shown that an additional training session immediately after acute stress increased release of salivary secretory immunoglobin A (sIgA) in a group trained with 5-day Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) in comparison to a control group given the same amount of relaxation training. However, 5 days of training did not influence the basal secretion of sIgA. The current study seeks to extend this finding and determine whether increasing amounts of IBMT will increase the basal sIgA level, suggesting further improvements in mucosal immune function.

Design: Thirty-five (35) Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned either to an experimental group receiving 4 weeks of IBMT or a relaxation control. Salivary sIgA levels at baseline before training and three stages (i.e., rest, stress, and additional 20-minute practice) after 2 and 4 weeks training were assessed.

Results: The basal sIgA levels increased significantly in the experimental subjects but not in controls after 4 weeks of training. An additional IBMT practice session immediately after acute stress produced significantly higher sIgA release for the IBMT-trained group in comparison with controls at week 2 and 4. This effect was larger at week 4 than week 2.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the IBMT produces a change in the basal immune system and larger acute effects as the dose of training increases.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal / physiology*
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory