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World-first evidence suggests that meditation alters cancer survivors’ cells

Stashed in: Science!, Meditate, Awesome, Medicine, Cancer

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if meditation works like medication?

Their study, which was published in the journal Cancer last week, is one of the first to suggest that a mind-body connection really does exist. 

The team found that the telomeres - the protein caps at the end of our chromosomes that determine how quickly a cell ages - stayed the same length in cancer survivors who meditated or took part in support groups over a three-month period.

On the other hand, the telomeres of cancer survivors who didn’t participate in these groups shortened during the three-month study.

Scientists still don’t know for sure whether telomeres are involved in regulating disease, but there is early evidence that suggests shortened telomeres are associated with the likelihood of surviving several diseases, including breast cancer, as well as cellular ageing. And longer telomeres are generally thought to help protect us from disease.

"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," said Linda E. Carlson, a psychosocial research and the lead investigator at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, in a press release. She conducted the study alongside scientists from the University of Calgary.

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

Ummm...with all the side effects of medication- be careful what you wish for. What I find most weird is that in the land of self driven hackers most keep reading these kinds of second hand research studies whereas the direct approach of self experimentation would yield more tangible results.

Can we agree that meditation does no harm and might do good?

Well, it could do harm. You may develop superpowers and go unhinged. These are well documented in the texts. Done in a holistic manner, sure, it does no harm. And where did you get this "might" do good?

People who meditate seem to do well. :)

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