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New Study Suggests Meditation Can Actually Alter Your Body On A Cellular Level | IFLScience

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"We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally, but now for the first time, we have evidence that they can also influence key aspects of your biology," Carlson said in a press release.

Telomeres are protective lengths of protein that exist at the ends of chromosomes. These get shorter after replication and determine how quickly the cell ages. When the telomeres are gone, the chromosome begins to degrade, which is bad for the health of the cell. After the study period had ended, the two groups that had practiced mindfulness and went to weekly meetings had preserved their telomere length from the start of the study, while the control group that did not learn mindfulness had shorter telomeres.

"It was surprising that we could see any difference in telomere length at all over the three-month period studied," Carlson continued. “Further research is needed to better quantify these potential health benefits, but this is an exciting discovery that provides encouraging news.”

This study definitely appears to suggest that our minds and bodies can affect one another, but it isn’t clear how that actually happens. The next step in the research will be to see if these results can hold up using a larger study group over longer periods of time, or if preservation of telomeres through meditation is only short term. Additionally, it has not been made clear if these differences actually have an effect on the individual’s overall health.

How did scientists know to look to telomeres as a beneficiary of meditation??

"Telomeres play a central role in cell fate and aging by adjusting the cellular response to stress and growth stimulation on the basis of previous cell divisions and DNA damage."

Wow, if we can learn to manipulate telomeres we'll really be onto something!

Adam, pardon me for stating the obvious, but the topic of this entire post is about how meditation lets you manipulate telomeres. You want someone else to do it for you and relinquish your powers?

"mindful meditation and yoga," Interesting how they separate the two when in fact the very definition of yoga is mindful meditation. How you use the body as an instrument during meditation falls along a spectrum of vigorous Vinyasa-style practice, or a rock-still seated posture. If you do asana practice mindlessly it is not yoga. If you eat mindfully, it is. It's all just mind over matter, as long as it's mindful it doesn't matter.

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