A study at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine in Baltimore suggests that meditation can be used to alleviate patients’ rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Researchers examined the effects of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program on participants suffering from this debilitating form of arthritis. The program included the practice of meditation, relaxation, and yoga exercises over an 8 week period. A series of follow-up exams on the meditating participants revealed progressively decreased levels of psychological distress associated with their disease. By the conclusion of the 6 month observation period, those individuals also experienced an 11% decrease in rheumatoid arthritis activity and a 46% decrease in inflammation associated with the disease.