Harvard Hardcore Meditation Proof



Isn’t it just awesome when science and spirituality coincide? Especially when there is great inspiration to be gained. I remember in my early twenties when I was in graduate school for Exercise Physiology. I decided to write my mini thesis on Meditation and the effects on brain waves. I remember searching high and low for books with documented research on proof that meditation has a direct effect on the physiology of the body.  This decade was way before you could google anything. Having said that, I am not revealing my age. :-]!

An amazing five-year study is now begin conducted by John Denniger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School on how ancient practices such as meditation and Thai Chi affect genetics and brain activity. The exciting news about this study is that, unlike other studies where data is based on questionnaires, heart rate and blood pressure responses, now technology allows for neuro-imaging and genomics. These techniques allow us to take an more intricate look at the effects. It may come as no surprise to yogis that we now have detailed hardcore proof of mind body connection. Denniger says “There is a true biological effect. The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just the brain.” Most health practitioners know that chronic stress contributes to as much as 90% of most illness, including aging, hypertension, feritlity and depression.

Where science and medicine meet is when a person has pharmaceutical drugs to treat essential imbalances and also integrates yoga and meditation to prevent further complications and enhance health progress. Denninger also examined Kundalini yoga, a form of practice that includes mediation, breathing and mantra chanting. He had a group of 70 patients suffering from high stress practice Kundali yoga weekly for two months. Another group of 70 people were instructed to meditate. Another group listened to stress reduction audiobooks. It was discovered that even one session of relaxtion-response practice was enough to encourage genes that metabolize energy and secrete insulin to be expressed and ones link to inflammatory response to  reduced!

There you have it! If what seems silly, hopeless or weird is frustrating and your wondering whether it is working, it is! As the British would say “Keep Calm and Move On”.  Research is also currently being conducted on the telomerase “immortality enzyme” which slows the cellular aging process. Mediation for even 12 minutes daily for 8 weeks revealed a 43% improvement in stress related aging, according to Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Prize Winner and reseracher at  UCLA. (Source:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/harvard-yoga-scientists-find-proof-of-meditation-benefit.html.)

However fancy the machinery gets for measuring our phisiology, the ultimate proof is within us. We can see, know and intuitively channel the profound healing effects gained from self awareness, mindful breathing, eastern healing practices and whatever inner work we do.  While you are out holiday shopping remember the great sanity saver, meditation!

As a new beginnings, New Year gift, my Yoga 108 book, featuring 108 yoga poses to do for which health concerns, as pictured above is now available for $10. To order email Kam at ksyogavortex@gmail.com


















Speak Your Mind