Meditation helps people ward off not only mental stresses but also other types of dis-ease too. This statement is not just the opinion of alternative therapists but a claim that has been proven by scientific studies. There are actually many different ways meditation can help improve your overall health.
Meditation Activates Disease-Fighting Genes
A group of researchers discovered that those who are regular practitioners of yoga and meditation were found to have more active disease-fighting genes compared to those people who never practice any form of relaxation exercise.
This study revealed that meditation enables the genes which are responsible for fighting against rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, high blood pressure and other forms of chronic pain to switch on and become more active. This “switching-on” of genes is believed to be induced by the relaxation effects of meditation.
Experts said that this ability of meditation to turn on the disease-fighting genes can be just as powerful and effective as prescription drugs but without any adverse side effects.
The study also unveiled the interesting fact that the genes can easily switch on and off in response to an individual’s environment, behavior and mood. During the first part of the study these findings were not evident in the control group, so they were later advised to incorporate meditation in their daily routine.
After a period of two months, they too experienced significant changes in their body. Scientists found that their genes, which are responsible for fighting against cancer, inflammation and the genes that kill diseased cells, became switched on.
Meditation Slows Down the Aging Process
Yet another study showed that people who spend 12 minutes meditating every day for a straight eight weeks were found to have increased levels of telomerase activity. The increase was as much as 43%.
Telomerase is an enzyme that helps in repairing, strengthening and rebuilding telomeres which are a constituent of DNA. The telomeres must be prevented from becoming shorter or they will become less effective at protecting each chromosome.
- An absence of telomerase leads to cells becoming decrepit, or aged.
- An increase in telomerase activity would translate to better health and longevity as stress-induced aging is being slowed down through meditation.
The said study showed that meditation promotes positive psychological changes that bring telomerase activity to its highest levels.
An improvement in a person’s psychological well-being has also been linked to better functioning immune cells. These changes can greatly influence many aspects of one’s physiological activity paving the way for reduced risks of many age-related diseases. This helps in understanding how meditation can increase longevity as well as vitality.
Meditation Leads to Decreased Sensitivity to Pain
While practicing Zen Meditation, the participants of the study reported having decreased levels of pain intensity, an experience that was not present among the control group who did not meditate. Experts said that this analgesic effect experienced by Zen meditation practitioners occurs due to an improvement in cortical thickness of the brain specifically in the affective or pain-related regions.
Several studies reveal that these changes in the brain are usually present among people who have been long-term practitioners of meditation.
Meditation has always been considered a safe alternative to so many other treatments. So why not sit down and clear your mind right now for better health and wellness