How Meditation Can Change Genes 4 Minutes There is evidence that meditation can induce changes in genes. While it’s too early to draw any definite conclusions and determine what impact this might have on our health, this is a big breakthrough.
According to behaviorist Susan Lee Smalley, meditation can lead to genetic changes. In fact, she is not the only one who puts forward this hypothesis. However, Smalley is one of the most important defenders of his vast knowledge in this area.
Susan Lee Smalley is an anthropologist with a doctorate in medical genetics. She is the director of the Research Center for Mindful Awareness (MARC) and was among those who first discussed how meditation can lead to genetic change. According to Smalley, research shows that people who meditate can experience changes in at least 15 genes. Changes in response to new experiences also have an impact on the genetic level. She believes that the most interesting thing about how meditation can lead to genetic changes is that it can be a way for people to bring about profound changes themselves through their chosen experiences.
A preview of how meditation can lead to genetic change
Until recently, scientists believed that the genetic information we are born with is unchanged. They saw this as a kind of final programming, which is defined from birth. Over time, they overestimated this. We now know that genetic information is actually extremely flexible and applicable to life.
One of the research projects that confirmed this Flexibility, which later gave rise to research into how meditation changes genes, was conducted by Michael Meany from McGill University in Montreal. He and his team observed epigenetic changes in the brains of rodents that did not receive adequate maternal care during the first weeks of life.
This already at a young age led to chronic stress in animals. Females who underwent this epigenetic change also behaved inadvertently with their puppies, as usual with their children. This showed that genetic predisposition was flexible and that mental experiences can lead to changes in genes.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison has conducted research on meditation that has produced startling results. This is one of the pioneering works in this area showing how meditation can lead to gene changes, and it is extremely valuable.
What the Researchers did this by analyzing the bodily changes that occurred in two groups of people. One group meditated and the other performed silent activities that had nothing to do with meditation.
As a result, they found that those who meditated underwent changes in the RIPK2 and COX2 genes. They are associated with inflammatory processes in the body.
The molecules that showed these changes were analyzed at the Institute for Biomedical Research in Barcelona (IIBB). -CSIC- IDIBAPS). Perla Kaliman, the main author of the article, stated that an epigenetic change resulting from meditation was found in the genome (genome). However, she explained that it is too early to draw any definite conclusions.
Stress and meditation
Chronic stress is one of the factors that experts say is associated with many chronic diseases, as well as various mood and mental disorders. It is also associated with aging in both the brain and the body as a whole. Reducing stress is one of the most documented effects of meditation.
Research now suggests that stress causes epigenetic changes and that they can be restored through meditation.
Similarly, Susan Lee Smalley argues that people who have achieved a state of so-called “Full Attention” cause more activity in the frontal lobe, which has a calming effect. If they maintain this state for a certain period of time, it will lead to genetic changes in the structure of stress.
Important: Please note that epigenetic changes are modifications that can silence certain genetic factors. Experts believe that it is for this reason that DNA does not determine our “destiny”.
A person may, for example, be born with a certain gene that makes a person more susceptible to cancer, but an epigenetic change can silence this gene. This indicates the importance of all of these studies and the various conclusions you can draw from them.
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