We have all read about the benefits of meditation and yoga allowing us to reduce stress and alleviate the anxiety and tension in everyday life. The practice of these methods improve our mental and physical well-being, but it seems that these practices can offer even more.
The Journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviewed the effects of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and Tai Chi on our genes, and released the following findings: meditation and yoga “don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression…”
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) of our body when stressed activates the “fight-or-flight” response. This response was of vital importance for the survival of the humans when found in dangerous situation and after it has passed the body systems restored their normal function.
In modern living, due to the stressful life we lead; the “fight-or-flight” mechanism gets overused which in turn endangers our health. Namely, when the SNS gets activated, the body stimulates the production of kappa B (NF-kB), a molecule of nuclear factor, which controls the way our genes are expressed. This molecule activates the cytokines, genes that are accountable for making and releasing proteins thereby causing inflammation and illnesses.
It has been proven that people who practice yoga and meditation engage “Mind-body Interventions” (MBIs) that have a substantial lower body production of Nf-kB and inflammatory cytokines.
In Science Dailyit is stated the following:
“These activities 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.”
This is the reason why we feel relieved when practicing yoga and meditation as it help us in preserving our health and overall well-being.
Ivana Buric, from the Brain, Belief, and Behaviour Lab in Coventry University’s Centre for Psychology, Behaviour, and Achievement maintains:
“Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don’t realize is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business.
These activities 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. This is an important foundation to build on to help future researchers explore the benefits of increasingly popular mind-body activities.”
Therefore, make sure to implement some mindful practices in your daily routine and thus improve your physical and mental health.