The power of mindfulness meditation in changing our genes

The power of mindfulness meditation in changing our genes

By Shinji Tutoru

INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH OF BARCELONA, SPAIN. The proliferation of evidence showing the effectiveness of meditation to the human body has led to further research that showed real evidence of specific molecular changes in the body. Meditation strategies can be very effective for the treatment of various chronic inflammatory conditions. Also, this will minimize the use of anti-inflammatory medications that can damage the liver.

The study was conducted by observing a group of experienced meditators who were pre-occupied with intensive mindfulness meditation practice and a group of untrained control subjects who simply engaged in quiet non-meditative activities.

After 8 hours of mindfulness meditation practice, the group of experienced meditators displayed a range of molecular and genetic differences. These included reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes and altered levels of gene-regulating machinery that are connected with faster physical recovery from any stressful situation.

These changes were not visible in the non-meditating group who did quiet activities. The molecular analyses were conducted at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain. According to Perla Kaliman, one of the researchers (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), “The changes were observed in the genes that are the current targets of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs”. Other researchers who participated were Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The study has once again proven that mindfulness meditation practice can absolutely lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome. This supported previous studies in humans and rodents that showed dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli like diet, stress and exercise within only a few hours. The calmness of one’s mind can certainly influence the expression of one’s genes.

Invention Improving One’s Genes With Meditation
Organization Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona
Researcher Richard J. Davidson & Team
Field(s) Psychoneuroendocrinology, Biomedical, Alternative Medicine
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