Got Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Try Breathing, Movement and Meditation!

Researchers from New York Medical College, Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College evaluated the impact of the Breath-Body-Mind Workshop (BBMW) (breathing, movement, and meditation) on psychological and physical symptoms, as well as inflammatory biomarkers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Twenty-nine IBD patients from the Jill Roberts IBD Center were randomized to BBMW or an educational seminar.  Measures were taken at baseline and weeks 6 and 26, using the 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. In addition, C-reactive protein, fecal calprotectin and other physiological measures were obtained as well.

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.

The investigation team concluded that in patients with IBD, participation in the BBMW intervention was associated with significant improvements in psychological and physical symptoms, quality of life, and C-reactive protein. They conclude that BBMW may have significant long-lasting benefits for IBD symptoms, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and inflammation. 

Citation: Gerbarg PL, Jacob VE, Stevens L, Bosworth BP, Chabouni F, DeFilippis EM, Warren R, Trivellas M, Patel PV, Webb CD, Harbus MD, Christos PJ, Brown RP, Scherl EJ. The Effect of Breathing, Movement, and Meditation on Psychological and Physical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 2015 Dec;21(12):2886-96. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000568.

[Ed. note: If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!