Study: Meditation Sparks Molecular Changes In The Body

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posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 07:07 PM
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Infowars reports:


The University of Wisconsin-Madison has provided the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

Researchers from Spain, France, and Wisconsin have reported that the effects of a single day of intensive mindfulness meditation can change our genes. The study, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, showed that after eight hours of mindfulness practice, meditators showed a range of genetic expression changes, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which means that people could recover from stress and its physical ramifications much faster than previously thought possible.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.


This finding goes hand in hand with Dr. Bruce Lipton’s work on genetic expression. Scientists used to think that genes were responsible for controlling cellular behavior. In fact, many biologists still hold this view today, even though this has been experimentally debunked.

Genes are merely blueprints for the construction of proteins. Blueprints can’t do anything on their own. If I set a blueprint for a building on the ground, it will not magically turn itself into a building. Cellular behavior is exclusively controlled by interactions with the surrounding environment. Changing the environment a cell resides in can completely change the genes it chooses to express.

Identical adult stem cells placed into differing Petri dish cultures can turn into bone, skin, muscle, even brain tissue depending on the environment of the Petri dish in which they are placed. Cells display conscious decision making processes in reacting to their environment.

Meditating changes the chemical environment of all cells within a body. By meditating, we can take control over the emotional chemical soup that the brain is constantly generating. We can make conscious choices about our emotional states depending on how we chose to interpret our present situation and our surrounding environment.

By consciously choosing not to judge or interpret our present situation through meditation, we simultaneously alter the chemicals flowing through our bodies. This change in the chemical environment, brought about through meditation, changes the way cells genetically express themselves.

Watch this:




posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 07:30 PM
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Great thread! Funny, the practitioners of meditation have been saying this for years.



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 09:56 PM
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I'm a terrible meditator. Now I'll have reason to persist with it.



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 10:24 PM
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Very interesting!


From your link above, I found this paragraph very interesting:



The analgesic drug market in the US alone amounts to over $2.3 billion annually for pharmaceutical companies like Proctor & Gamble, and that’s just for over-the-counter drugs. Simply practicing meditation could eliminate the need for expensive and side effect-causing medication that can ruin the body’s natural immune response.





If anyone is curious, I followed some links on this and found the summary from the original research. It was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology - Volume 40, February 2014, Pages 96–107.

www.sciencedirect.com...




Summary

Background

A growing body of research shows that mindfulness meditation can alter neural, behavioral and biochemical processes. However, the mechanisms responsible for such clinically relevant effects remain elusive.


Methods

Here we explored the impact of a day of intensive practice of mindfulness meditation in experienced subjects (n = 19) on the expression of circadian, chromatin modulatory and inflammatory genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). In parallel, we analyzed a control group of subjects with no meditation experience who engaged in leisure activities in the same environment (n = 21). PBMC from all participants were obtained before (t1) and after (t2) the intervention (t2 − t1 = 8 h) and gene expression was analyzed using custom pathway focused quantitative-real time PCR assays. Both groups were also presented with the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST).
Results

Core clock gene expression at baseline (t1) was similar between groups and their rhythmicity was not influenced in meditators by the intensive day of practice. Similarly, we found that all the epigenetic regulatory enzymes and inflammatory genes analyzed exhibited similar basal expression levels in the two groups. In contrast, after the brief intervention we detected reduced expression of histone deacetylase genes (HDAC 2, 3 and 9), alterations in global modification of histones (H4ac; H3K4me3) and decreased expression of pro-inflammatory genes (RIPK2 and COX2) in meditators compared with controls. We found that the expression of RIPK2 and HDAC2 genes was associated with a faster cortisol recovery to the TSST in both groups.


Conclusions

The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions. Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.


Keywords

Mindfulness;
Meditation;
Epigenetics;
Inflammation;
HDAC;
Stress


I can't imagine the makers of NSAIDS are too thrilled about this... but I am.
edit on 14-8-2014 by VegHead because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 11:16 PM
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originally posted by: AnarchoCapitalist
Cells display conscious decision making processes in reacting to their environment.


Saying that cells are conscious because of a reaction is a crazy stretch. They dont CHOOSE to become a different tissue. But the article is interesting.



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 11:30 PM
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originally posted by: Ridhya

originally posted by: AnarchoCapitalist
Cells display conscious decision making processes in reacting to their environment.


Saying that cells are conscious because of a reaction is a crazy stretch. They dont CHOOSE to become a different tissue. But the article is interesting.


Well watch the lecture, then see what you think. I'm taking Lipton at face value. I think his hypothesis is sound.

I think purely physicalist systems run into an intractable problem with strong emergence. It’s not possible for a purely physicalist system to have non-physical phenomena within it. You can’t take red Lego blocks and build a blue object. Likewise, it’s not possible to start with purely physical entities and build non-physical entities, such as the qualia of our subjective experience.

If we assume all matter has some level of consciousness to it, then Lipton's findings make all the more sense.

edit on 8/14/2014 by AnarchoCapitalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

I commend this OP and adore Bruce Lipton but as a long time meditator I'd like to point out a couple of problems with this claim.

1) It's from Infowars - now it seems to lead to reputable research but keep the source in mind.

2) For anyone that's done any amount of mediattion, eight hours is a considerable stretch and not for new mediators.

3) While I imagine DNA changes are apparent after only 8 hours of meditation; without continuing consistant practise the changes would not be permanent as brain plasticity is a two way street.

4) I encourage all to practise some type or form of meditation/mindfullness but it's not a quick fix to anything and the benefits are variable and require consistant daily practise. For laypeople 10-20 minutes a day with regular longer stretches of practise and or retreats is sufficient.

5) Contemporary secular lay mindfullness gurus do discount the need to follow an ethical lifestyle along with meditation practises and do so for the simple reason that any practise is good for the mind/heart/body and leads eventuall (maybe lifetimes) to more ethical behavoir, speech and thought.



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: VegHead

Thank you for quote from the original article.

It's important to note the subjects were experienced meditators most likely Buddhist Monks who regularly take part in this type of research.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 12:49 AM
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Very interesting read! I'm a big fan of meditation, and have always found great personal benefit in it- nice to see that being confirmed more and more, scientifically!



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist



Meditating changes the chemical environment of all cells within a body. By meditating, we can take control over the emotional chemical soup that the brain is constantly generating.


The same can be done with any interaction of the human body. Merely standing in an aggressive stance can raise testosterone levels.

Meditation, in the western sense, is a euphemism for focusing, thinking and perhaps calmly breathing.

Any basic exercise can alter the human body; and anyone can and will do this without the need to involve all the mystical connotations that goes with wishful thinking.



If we assume all matter has some level of consciousness to it, then Lipton's findings make all the more sense.


What need do we have to assume anything? Consciousness is a completely empty term unless it is an abstract way of speaking about the human body.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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originally posted by: Aphorism

Meditation, in the western sense, is a euphemism for focusing, thinking and perhaps calmly breathing.

Any basic exercise can alter the human body;





....there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

...the key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities



www.news.wisc.edu...

I think the interest here is that this specific activity (which had different effects than the other quiet activities) had specific effects. Especially anti-inflammatory, which could suggest a useful aid for those with chronic inflammatory conditions.

I don't see this as claiming that other activities don' t have effects upon the body and gene expression- only that different activities have different effects, and pinpointing what those are for each makes us better equipped to use the appropriate activity for our current needs.
edit on 15-8-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 01:47 AM
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How can anyone meditate 8 hours? That sounds hard.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 02:24 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

The study specifically cites the use of mindfulness meditation, which is Buddhist meditation or "clearing the mind."

And I fully agree with you that if a person chooses (makes a conscious decision) to stand in an aggressive posture, they can alter the chemical behavior of their body. That only goes to prove my point, not disprove it.

Mindful meditation was correlated with positive or beneficial changes in body chemicals. When a person chooses to be in fear, or take a an aggressive or defensive posture, their body chemicals will alter to most benefit that perceived need.

Running away or defending oneself can be beneficial in certain circumstances. The problem we have today is that we live in a state of needless fear, created by the media and the government. Just read the headlines. How often are positive stories portrayed over negative stories?

Now when we take this in conjunction with Lipton's research and the meditation research, it becomes clear that these chemical changes to the environment our cells live in, caused by our conscious perceptions, alter the genetic expression of our cells.

The bottom line is that our cells respond to our conscious perceptions.

edit on 8/15/2014 by AnarchoCapitalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 02:38 AM
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I often meditate, sometimes twice a day one hour each. And I can tell the difference whether i'm meditating 2 hours a day and times that I don't meditate at all it's just moon and the sun...

Meditation helps to keep the focus on the present moment, when we are in the moment we are more aware of what's going on right now, in our mind, in our body. Bruce Lipton has talked about the "Honey moon effect", which is a time we are at the present moment being who we are, and then afterward the programming and conditioning comes back in and we are not who we are naturally anymore and about 95% elsewhere, almost like a different person. Meditation helps not to perpetuate the conditionings and be happy.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 05:43 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

Can't watch this video now but maybe later.

I wonder if 'meditating' could help to cure my Mind. I have acute 'Schizophrenia' which means I am stable, calm but still hear things when around people.

I can try but 'Meditation' is something which one really needs to be able to continue doing regularly and I'm not sure I can sit still Meditating for long periods. I wonder if I focus on my Mind whether I can fix my Brain.
edit on CDTFri, 15 Aug 2014 05:46:08 -0500u3105x108x1 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 05:44 AM
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Hi,

There is this guy , Wim Hof, who is able to control his body to some kind of meditation.

It's a normal guy, not a fame seeker in my opinion.

He uses his knowledge a lot to help the ill people.

More: Wim Hof ( Iceman)

He is capable of Proving the impossible: Autonomic nervous system can be influenced

Univerity studies has proven it. Now they are gonna test if he can teach it to others.
edit on 15-8-2014 by EartOccupant because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 10:03 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist


And I fully agree with you that if a person chooses (makes a conscious decision) to stand in an aggressive posture, they can alter the chemical behavior of their body. That only goes to prove my point, not disprove it.


Unfortunately, pushing such an idea has no basis. The act of standing in an aggressive stance, not the choice to do so, alter's the behavior of the chemicals. The act of meditation, not the choosing to do so, alter's the chemical behavior of the body.

I'm not sure what fear has to do with anything.


The bottom line is that our cells respond to our conscious perceptions.


They respond to every single thing we do. Anything other than that is redundant, and I fear motivated by religion. The man you quoted just so happens to be a friend of the Dalai Lama. It is quite possible he has an agenda to push.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: TruthxIsxInxThexMist
a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

Can't watch this video now but maybe later.

I wonder if 'meditating' could help to cure my Mind. I have acute 'Schizophrenia' which means I am stable, calm but still hear things when around people.

I can try but 'Meditation' is something which one really needs to be able to continue doing regularly and I'm not sure I can sit still Meditating for long periods. I wonder if I focus on my Mind whether I can fix my Brain.


Without doubt!

Chakras are the key here.

As I understand, schizophrenia is caused by an un-balanced brain, as in left/right hemispheres. Sufferers have a tendency to use one part of the brain and then flip to the other side, hence the dual 'personality' .

What will help you is to focus upon the pineal gland, or 'third eye' chakra. By focusing upon this you will be able to find a balance and utilise both sides on the brain instead of exclusively using one side or the other ie half a brain.

Not everyone understands chakras, especially understanding how it is not just the colours but the shades that are very important.

You will need to imagine a ROYAL BLUE colour from the cerviacal (where the spine joins the skull and where the hemispheres get switched) to just a little below the crown of the head.

The pineal gland is at eye level, so feel your way back into the center of you brain and you will sense it. It won't be a new sensation for you would have sensed this all your life, but acknowledging where it is and what shade of colour it resonates with, is the key.

Chakra meditation can be done without going into any deep state and can be done as often as you like, but I would suggest 'spinning' the chakras only when you need a boost of energy eg in the mornings.

Some rules about chakra spinning:

All chakras should spin the same way, around your body with you in the center and not vertically (imagine a circle but on its side). The direction can be changed from day to day but the direction should be constant throughout the day.

Never start from the crown and go down, always start from the bottom and rise.

Start from under you feet, not from the root chakra. (see below)


For a good time I didn't find much use in chakra meditation as sadly I was mis, possibly dis-informed. Why start from the root chakra (red)? Because I knew no better. From the feet up to the top of the thigh is actually a BROWN colour.
It's a grounding colour and is where one should begin. Perhaps why the soil and tree bark is brown?

I made a little image to represent the true chakra colours although the proportions aren't quite accurate, but it gives one the idea



i58.tinypic.com...[/IMG]]Chakra shades


Violet
Royal Blue
Ice Blue
Medium Green
Pale Yellow
Pale Orange
Pale Red
Brown






edit on 15-8-2014 by Beyond Creation because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Beyond Creation

Thanks for the info. I shall try it out later.

I've never actually used 'colour' curing on myself, I've always used colour for outside interference.

I am going to see if any changes occur within the week. Would be great if I could finally get rid of the voices.

But I am a bit skeptical that this will work. ha. ha. Anyways, no harm in trying.



posted on Aug, 15 2014 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

There are so many types of meditation. Looking into the interior world has always satisfied me, but some of the zen mindlessness stuff is not my cup of tea. Mystical experiences should be a conscious engagement with the stimuli so that the ego is rectified and more properly developed instead of being nullified.






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