Meditating Raises Spirits More than a Vacation

More Effective at Reducing Stress




PopTika/Shutterstock.com

Scientists from the University of California at San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School, in Boston, tested the effect of vacations and meditation on the genes of 64 women between the ages of 30 and 60 that were novice meditators. They all spent six days at the same resort in California. Half participated in a meditation program that included yoga, self-reflection exercises and mantra meditation; the other half did not engage in onsite meditation. The researchers also studied a group of 30 experienced meditators already participating in the resort’s meditation program.

Blood sample tests and surveys from all 94 women were conducted at intervals: once right before their stay, once right after, a third one month post-vacation and then 10 months after the trip. All the women displayed significant changes to their molecular network pattern after the six days, with the most substantial genetic changes related to immune function and stress response.

One month after the resort experience, all groups continued to display improvements. However, the novice meditators showed fewer symptoms of depression and stress for a significantly longer period than the women not participating in the meditation exercise.


This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

OolaLife

Oola (originating from the word “oo-la-la”) is a lifestyle based on the international best-selling book, Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World.

Hidden Nature Jewels Enhance Urban Livability

A spot of hidden City land along a stretch of the Trinity River’s Elm Fork, in-between I-35E and Storey Lane, in northwest Dallas comprises acres of heavily wooded, boggy bottomlands located where Bachman Branch joins the river.

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Add your comment: