The Effect of Breathing, Movement, and Meditation on Psychological and Physical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Dec;21(12):2886-96. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000568.


Background: This study evaluated the effects of the Breath-Body-Mind Workshop (BBMW) (breathing, movement, and meditation) on psychological and physical symptoms and inflammatory biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: Twenty-nine IBD patients from the Jill Roberts IBD Center were randomized to BBMW or an educational seminar. Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory 18, IBD Questionnaire, Perceived Disability Scale, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Digestive Disease Acceptance Questionnaire, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, fecal calprotectin, C-reactive protein, and physiological measures were obtained at baseline and weeks 6 and 26.

Results: The BBMW group significantly improved between baseline and week 6 on Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (P = 0.02), Beck Anxiety Inventory (P = 0.02), and IBD Questionnaire (P = 0.01) and between baseline and week 26 on Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (P = 0.04), Beck Anxiety Inventory (P = 0.03), Beck Depression Inventory (P = 0.01), IBD Questionnaire (P = 0.01), Perceived Disability Scale (P = 0.001), and Perceived Stress Questionnaire (P = 0.01) by paired t tests. No significant changes occurred in the educational seminar group at week 6 or 26. By week 26, median C-reactive protein values decreased significantly in the BBMW group (P = 0.01 by Wilcoxon signed-rank test) versus no significant change in the educational seminar group.

Conclusions: In patients with IBD, participation in the BBMW was associated with significant improvements in psychological and physical symptoms, quality of life, and C-reactive protein. Mind-body interventions, such as BBMW, which emphasize Voluntarily Regulated Breathing Practices, may have significant long-lasting benefits for IBD symptoms, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and inflammation. BBMW, a promising adjunctive treatment for IBD, warrants further study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Breathing Exercises / methods
  • Breathing Exercises / psychology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Education / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / blood
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein