You’ve heard the hype: daily yoga practice will help you find inner peace. Meditating daily will help you deal more effectively with stress. While meditation practices may not be your cup of tea, they are more effective at improving your mental health than your daily coffee or stimulant. In fact, according to a recent Science Daily article, mind body interventions (MBI’s) such as yoga or Tai Chi, “‘reverse the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression..” Read on to discover how it works.
Experts concentrated on gene expression, which is, “..the way that genes activate to produce proteins which influence the biological make-up of the body, the brain and the immune system.” 1* When you are stressed, your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), which is responsible for your “flight or fight response” is activated. Your SNS then activates a molecule called the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB). This molecule is in charge of your gene expression.
NF-kB then activates genes to produce proteins called cytokines. These proteins cause cellular inflammation. While this inflammation can be helpful with flight or fight responses, its benefits are short-term. If this inflammation continues, your risk of cancer, accelerated aging and psychiatric disorders like depression dramatically increases. 1* On the other hand, as many as 18 studies conducted over the past 11 years have found that individuals who participated in MBI’s experienced, “…a decrease in production of NF-kB and cytokines, leading to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene pattern and a reduction in the risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.” 1* It turns out, those who do yoga or meditate might be onto something.
According to Lead investigator Ivana Buric from the Brain, Belief and Behavior Lab in Coventry University’s Centre for Psychology MBI’s are, “…leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing.” 1*
While you may still drink your daily coffee and think you don’t have time for this meditation mumbo-jumbo, these gene-expression benefits just might be too good to ignore. After all, what’s more important: increasing your life-expectancy or completing everything on your to-do list? That’s what I thought. 😉
NOTE: For more information, please visit Science Daily (or paste this URL into your browser: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170615213301.htm)