Meditation is good for the body. But did you know that meditation can change your genes’ DNA? Well, mental states have a significant physical influence on our bodies. While some people engage in mindfulness to get some time out from busy schedules studies, studies show that mindfulness meditation alters the way DNA responds to stress.
Mindfulness is a buzzword that is vaunted for its virtues including alleviating stress and helping people to focus. Mindful meditation is adapted from Buddhist meditation. The practices focus on the present actions and thoughts, shunning judgement, and ignoring both the past and future concerns. Simply Meditation is a technique that brings awareness to the present often using mantra or breathing as the focal point. What’s more, is that mindfulness can even rewire your mental circuitry and physically change your DNA. Check out MyFamilyDNATest.com if you need DNA tests.
A research on the effects of the mind-body intervention on the human genes showed that meditation, mindfulness Tai Chi and Yoga affect our DNA. They reverse our DNA molecular reaction to stress, which can cause depression and poor health.
A prolonged period of stress triggers our sympathetic nervous system. As a result, our genes produce cytokines, a protein that causes inflation at the cellular level. Over time this process increases the risk of getting cancer, psychiatric disorders such as depression.
The good news is that mind-body interventions can help deal with the problem. Mediation reduces the production of cytokine and reverses the inflammatory gene. Ultimately, this lowers the risk of developing conditions and diseases related to inflammation.
How Mindfulness Meditation Impacts the DNA
According to a study by American Scientific, mindfulness meditation has an impact on the DNA of breast cancer patients. The study showed that meditation alters the length of telomeres, which are tiny protective caps on chromosome ends. Essentially, meditation preserves the length of meditation. Telomeres are DNA stretches that cap human chromosomes. They look like plastic tips of shoelaces and they prevent deterioration of chromosomes.
While shorter telomeres do not cause problems or disease, they correlate with heart disease, cancer and diabetes. According to biological experts, Telomeres whither with age. People with heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and high levels of stress have shorter telomeres. Therefore by preventing shortening of these microscopic structures we can enhance our health. In essence, everybody should aim to have their Telomere intact. A vegan diet, stress management, and aerobic exercises enhance telomerase activity in prostate cancer patients. Telomerase is an enzyme that is responsible for adding DNA in chromosome ends. A 2013 study by Ornish also found that lifestyle intervention lengthens telomeres.
Also, mindfulness mediation impact the molecular activities of our biological system. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin Madison, the DNA of people who meditate have a molecular and genetic difference. After a day of mindful meditation, there were changes in the test subjects. The differences include lower levels of pro-inflammatory genes and different gene-regulating machinery. These alterations are associated with faster physical recovery from stressful situations.
In a nutshell, Mindfulness is associated with a reduction of compounds that promote inflammation and maintain optimum levels of the hormone cortisol. Researches are in progress to determine the impact of mindfulness on other health conditions.
Mediation promises a host of benefits to include focus enhancement, neurocircuitry boosting and physical health. According to past studies, mediation can change your genes. While mediation does not necessarily prevent us from getting diseases, it is one of the epigenetic factors we can control. If you have not yet started doing mediations, you will want to join the bandwagon.