Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Meditation and yoga can reverse DNA reaction that causes stress – researcher

arroba Email

From ScienceDaily:

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviews over a decade of studies analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different MBIs including mindfulness and yoga.

Experts from the universities conclude that, when examined together, the 18 studies — featuring 846 participants over 11 years — reveal a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health. Paper. (public access) – Ivana Buric, Miguel Farias, Jonathan Jong, Christopher Mee, Inti A. Brazil. What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind–Body Interventions? A Systematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices. Frontiers in Immunology, 2017; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00670

If this holds up, it shouldn’t be that surprising. We edit our genes through life and the placebo effect (thinking you will get better is part of getting better) is one of the most powerful in medicine.

See also: Researchers: Contrary to expectations, genes are constantly rearranged by cells

New Scientist’s about face on the placebo effect


What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

Dionisio: Working at it. Just need to find some time and the right mood! :) gpuccio
gpuccio, Glad to read your insightful comment! Any plan for a new article soon? Dionisio
awstar: "Just wondering: is MBI defining the mind to be separate from the body" No, I think in this context it is simply an empiric definition: a) If you observe the results at body level of some process that initiates as a subjective mind experience, then you are studying a mind-body intervention. b) If you observe the results at the level of mind experiences if a process that initiates at the objective body level, then you are studying a body-mind intervention. No special philosophical context is necessary, because subjective experiences and objective observations are two different categories of cognition, whatever our philosophy. Now, it is certainly trivial to say that both MBI and BMI (body-mind interventions, not body mass index :) ) are real: we have always known that. If we experience a sudden state of fear, all our body reacts. And is we put a finger on a flame, all our mind reacts. But, certainly, it is very interesting to know that there are specific epigenetic modifications related to specific mind contexts. And yes, prayer is definitely a "mind intervention" that can have definite body results. I am not sure if the paper mentioned here includes experiments about prayer, because I have not read it in detail. gpuccio
I guess one could claim the mind is separate from the body like the light coming from a candle is separate from the candle, so there must be some link there right...as long as the candle is lit and exists? I think praying is very similar to meditation in many ways. The many ways in which one engages in prayer have parallels to meditation and centering techniques. One has a focus (or intent) often a technique, be it breathing , chanting or positioning. In many cases we focus more on something outside ourselves even if our physical nature is involved. So I would tend to think that yes prayer is a form of MBI but approached from a different angle/s Trumper
Just wondering: is MBI defining the mind to be separate from the body in the same way a Bible believer believes the mind is part of the soul and therefore separate from the body (I.e. Non-material) Also: is praying one of those other MBI's they hint at? awstar

Leave a Reply