Switch Off Stress Genes in 20 minutes
It has been known for a long time that stress reducing techniques such as meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, guided imagery and Qi Gong improve health.
How this occurs and what changes are induced in the body by these practices has been the subject of much research and speculation. Scientific evidence now demonstrates that these practices change the patterns of gene activity which affect how the body responds to stress.
Recent research undertaken by Dr. Herbert Benson, (one of the first doctors in the 1980’s to recognise the benefits of the relaxation response ) demonstrated that “ the very genes that are turned on or off by stress are turned the other way when practising stress reduction techniques.
What do genes do?
The role of genes is to make proteins ( Gene Expression) which in turn influences the mind and body processes. Genes can be turned on or off or can be influenced to make different proteins depending on the internal and external environment.
Stress and Ill Health. What happens if you de-stress.
Undoubtably,poor lifestyle choices lead to ill health. It has always been postulated that the reverse was true and Benson’s recent research which demonstrated that the production of stress hormones was influenced by meditation adds support of this idea.
Research now tells us that mind states can influence the production of stress hormones and chemicals.
Most people live with stress of one sort or another. Benson says “To adequately protect ourselves against stress, we should use an approach and a technique that we believe evokes the relaxation response 20 minutes, once a day.” I am not only listening to this advice …. I am practising.
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