By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 16 2009 10:00 AM ET

 Meditation is not only an immediate stress reducer; it can also pay off with long-term benefits in helping to slow immune-system decline. A University of California, Los Angeles, study of 48 adult HIVers who were assigned to either attend a one-day stress-reduction seminar or participate in an eight-week meditation program has shown that regular meditators maintained steady CD4-cell levels, while the other study subjects lost T cells. The CD4-cell effect of meditation was consistent regardless of whether the study subjects were taking anti-HIV meds. “If this initial finding is replicated in larger samples,” says lead study author David Creswell, “it’s possible that [mindful meditation] can be used as a powerful complementary treatment for HIV disease.”