Your Road to Wellness

Meditation

Improve your genetic potential

Posted by on 8:50 am Anti-aging, General Health, Happiness, Meditation, Research, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

While we can’t change our genes yet, we can however improve the expression of our genes.  There are several factors that affect how we express our genes.

One of the more important factors is stress.

In this study, researchers tested several functions after a practice session of healthy individuals who had practiced meditation for many years and participants that had only practiced for eight weeks, comparing it with participants who listen to health education (Bhasin MK, et.al., 2013).

The practice of meditation enhanced expression of genes associated with energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, insulin secretion and telomere maintenance, and reduced expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress-related pathways.

The response was stronger in those who had been practicing meditation for a long time.

In another study the researchers found that practitioners of “Loving-Kindness Meditation” had significantly longer telomere length than controls when Genomic DNA was tested (Hoge EA, et.al., 2013).

Telomeres relates to how fast we age.

Shorter telomeres have been linked to chronic stress and shorter telomere length can serve as a marker of accelerated aging.

When telomerase was measured in participants practising meditation at a retreat, an increase in telomerase activity was found compared to the control group (Jacobs TL, et.al., 2011).

This was also very interesting. Increases in “Purpose in Life” directly mediated the telomerase group difference, whereas increases in Mindfulness did not.

So the research shows that not all meditation produces the same results.

References

Bhasin MK, Dusek JA, Chang BH, Joseph MG, Denninger JW, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Libermann TA.Relaxation response induces temporal transcriptome changes in energy metabolism, insulin secretion and inflammatory pathways. PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e62817.

Jacobs TL, Epel ES, Lin J, Blackburn EH, Wolkowitz OM, Bridwell DA, Zanesco AP, Aichele SR, Sahdra BK, MacLean KA, King BG, Shaver PR, Rosenberg EL, Ferrer E, Wallace BA, Saron CD. Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011 Jun;36(5):664-81.

Hoge EA, Chen MM, Orr E, Metcalf CA, Fischer LE, Pollack MH, De Vivo I, Simon NM.Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:159-63.

 

 

 

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Stress shortens your telomeres…but why does that matter?

Posted by on 7:26 am Anti-Aging, General Health, Happiness, Health, Meditation, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotides consisting of DNA and RNA at the end of a chromosome that protects the chromosome from deterioration.

Shorter telomeres are known to determine cell longevity and shorter telomeres lead to a shorter lifespan.  Telomeres can therefore give us information on how fast we age.

Several factors can affect the length of the telomeres. We will look at one of these factors here.

Psychological stress, both perceived stress and chronicity of stress. is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length (Epel ES, et.al., 2004).

In a study which included 2911 men and women aged 30-64, a significant association was found between work exhaustion and telomere length related to the acceleration of the rate of biological aging (Ahola K, et.al., 2012).

In this study the researchers  examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation, a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition (Hoge EA, et.al., 2013).

The meditation practitioners had longer telomeres than the group not practicing meditation indicating an effect on longevity.

When family dementia caregivers were practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation or listening to relaxation music for 12 min per day for 8 weeks, this was the results.

The meditation group showed 43% improvement in telomerase activity compared with 3.7% in the relaxation group (Lavretsky H, et. al., 2013).

The meditation group also improved mental and cognitive functioning and had lower levels of depressive symptoms.

This is one of the things you can do to keep your telomeres longer and counteract stress.  Starting to meditate regularly is well worth the time you spend on the meditating,

References

Ahola K, Sirén I, Kivimäki M, Ripatti S, Aromaa A, Lönnqvist J, Hovatta I.Work-related exhaustion and telomere length: a population-based study. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40186.

Epel ES, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Dhabhar FS, Adler NE, Morrow JD, Cawthon RM, Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17312-5.

Hoge EA, Chen MM, Orr E, Metcalf CA, Fischer LE, Pollack MH, De Vivo I, Simon NM. Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:159-63.

Lavretsky H, Epel ES, Siddarth P, Nazarian N, Cyr NS, Khalsa DS, Lin J, Blackburn E, Irwin MR. A pilot study of yogic meditation for family dementia caregivers with depressive symptoms: effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;28(1):57-65.

 

 

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How stress affects your aging.

Posted by on 9:58 am Anti-aging, Meditation | 0 comments

A lot of research documents a link between chronic stress, poor health and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and decreased immune function.

First I want to point out that the negative effects of stress are related to chronic stress not acute stress.

As an example, exercise is causing acute stress and that is beneficial, that’s why exercise works.

We adapt to the stress and get  stronger, get better endurance, get faster or get better coordination depending on what kind of exercise we do.

Exercise can also provide beneficial biochemical changes.

It’s like inflammation.

Acute inflammation is beneficial, it helps us heal faster from an injury, and it protects us from pathogens like bacterial and viral infections.

It’s the chronic inflammation that is harmful.

So how does stress affect your aging?

This is really interesting, both chronic stress and also perceived stress are associated with higher oxidative stress and shorter telomeres (Epel ES, et al. 2004).

Women with the highest levels of perceived stress had, on average, telomeres shortened by the equivalent of at least one decade of additional aging compared to low stress women.

If you remember from the last article, telomeres are the DNA-protein caps at the end of chromosomes which protects the genomic DNA from damage.

Chronic stress and perceived stress also lower telomerase activity.

Telomerase is an enzyme that elongates telomeres.

This means that chronic stress makes you age much faster.

The solution is to train yourself to be more stress resistant.

High psychological hardiness has even shown to be related to less body fat and higher HDL, the so called good cholesterol (Bartone PT, et al. 2015).

Meditation has shown to be an effective way to decrease reactivity to stress (Duchemin AM, et al. 2015)

Bartone PT1,2, Valdes JJ1, Sandvik A3,4. Psychological hardiness predicts cardiovascular health. Psychol Health Med. 2015 Dec 11:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
Duchemin AM1, Steinberg BA, Marks DR, Vanover K, Klatt M. A small randomized pilot study of a workplace mindfulness-based intervention for surgical intensive care unit personnel: effects on salivary α-amylase levels. J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Apr;57(4):393-9. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000371.
Epel ES1, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Dhabhar FS, Adler NE, Morrow JD, Cawthon RM. Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17312-5. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

stress picture 3

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  • What to do to literally feel more relaxed and also feel less pain and stiffness in your neck in just 60 seconds

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You will also learn:

  • How to create lasting results and be more stress resistant.
  • How to train your mind so you are in control of how you feel instead of letting other people or situations control you.

 

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Can you change the way you react to stress?

Posted by on 8:00 am General Health, Meditation | 0 comments

We can’t always change our environment to what we would ideally like it to be.

The solution is to instead train ourselves so stressful situations don’t affect us adversely.

This means you would be more stress resistant.

Research has shown that this can be done, and it does not take a long time to see significant results (Duchemin AM, et al. 2015).

Personnel from a surgical intensive care unit were put into a stress reduction intervention group or a control group. The study took 8 weeks and biological markers of stress were measured one week before and one week after the study. The intervention consisted of meditation, gentle yoga and music.

The results documented that levels of salivary alpha-amylase (a measure of sympathetic activation of the nervous system) significantly decreased after practicing for 8 weeks. It was also found a positive correlation between salivary alpha-amylase and work burnout scores.

You can be in control of how you feel, instead of letting stress control you. Just find an effective way to practice meditation.

Duchemin AM1, Steinberg BA, Marks DR, Vanover K, Klatt M. A small randomized pilot study of a workplace mindfulness-based intervention for surgical intensive care unit personnel: effects on salivary α-amylase levels. J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Apr;57(4):393-9. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000371.

 

stress picture 3

From Stressed to Relaxed in 60 Seconds

You will learn: 

  • How to implement acupuncture knowledge and affect the vagus nerve in seconds. 
  • What to do to literally feel more relaxed and also feel less pain and stiffness in your neck in just 60 seconds

 While this is exciting, this program is much more.  Illusion of Mind

You will also learn:

  • How to create lasting results and be more stress resistant.
  • How to train your mind so you are in control of how you feel instead of letting other people or situations control you.

 

 Buy Here

 

Save

Decrease inflammation using your mind.

Posted by on 6:42 pm Meditation | 0 comments


Does it sound too good to be true?

There is now more and more research showing us how powerful the mind can be.

This study documented the effect of 8 weeks of meditation practiced 12 minutes per day on genetic expression and inflammation (Black DS, et al. 2013). The participants of this study were family dementia caregivers who were exposed to more stress than the average person.

The results showed that 8 weeks of daily meditation can reverse the pattern of pro inflammatory gene expression by NF-kappaB. Not only did it do that, but it also showed greater expression of anti-viral response genes. These results are similar to research on cognitive behavioral stress management intervention for breast cancer patients (Antoni MH, et al. 2012).

When the mind is trained properly, it can be a very powerful tool.

It only requires consistency and a little bit of time to train it.

 

Antoni MH1, Lutgendorf SK, Blomberg B, Carver CS, Lechner S, Diaz A, Stagl J, Arevalo JM, Cole SW. Cognitive-behavioral stress management reverses anxiety-related leukocyte transcriptional dynamics. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 15;71(4):366-72. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.10.007. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
Black DS1, Cole SW, Irwin MR, Breen E, St Cyr NM, Nazarian N, Khalsa DS, Lavretsky H. Yogic meditation reverses NF-κB and IRF-related transcriptome dynamics in leukocytes of family dementia caregivers in a randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Mar;38(3):348-55. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

Improve your odds of not getting sick.

Posted by on 2:14 pm Brain, General Health, Meditation, Stay healthy | 0 comments

For your immune system to keep you healthy, the white blood cells need to effectively engulf and kill bacterias and viruses. This process is called phagocytosis.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could improve the ability of your white blood cells to kill bacterias and viruses, in other words improve phagocytosis. If you could do it without taking any medication, that would be even better.
That was exactly what was investigated in the reviewed research(Fernandes CA, et al. 2012).

Twenty-nine healthy individuals, both men and women, 24 to 67 years old, participated in the study. They received three hours of training, weekly, in meditation during the 10 weeks the study lasted. They also agreed to practice daily for 20 minutes at home. To evaluate the phagocytosis, the production of hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide by the monocytes(a type of white blood cell) was measured. Corticotrophin and cortisol, hormones released under stress, were also measured.

The measurements were done at the beginning of the study, halfway through, and at the end. The participants who meditated for more than 980 minutes showed an increase in phagocytosis. Their monocytes, a type of white blood cell, produced higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The level of corticotrophin hormone also went down.

By just using your mind, you can improve your body’s ability to fight disease.

 

 

Fernandes CA1, Nóbrega YK, Tosta CE. Pranic meditation affects phagocyte functions and hormonal levels of recent practitioners. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):761-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0718. Epub 2012 Jul 9.