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Meditation influences genes, says study

Washington, Dec 9: In a major breakthrough researchers have reported how meditation impacts genes and their actions, which results in swift recovery from a stressful situation.

A new study by researchers in the US, Spain and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of one day intensive mindfulness practice (intensive focus) in a group of experienced meditators compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities.

After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditator showed a range of genetic and molecular differences which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation, reports the Science Daily.

"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 Centre for Investigating Healthy Minds and 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, where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Update: 09-December-2013


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