The benefits of meditation pile up, some can’t be explained through scientific research but trust me that is ongoing! However, I do like to read the scientific publications on meditation and mindfulness because of how much success I’ve personally had with it and the success of my clients.
One article I came across was a new study by Kaliman et al. (2014) which sheds new light on the molecular changes in the body as a result of meditation practise.
They recruited 19 experienced meditators and 21 non-meditators and put them to task. The meditation group carried out an 8-hour intensive meditation session while the 21 others carried out quiet non-meditative activities for 8 hours.
Blood samples were taken from each group before and after the 8-hour period. They studied these blood samples at the molecular level and found some astonishing changes.
Within the meditation group they found that there were changes in the way important genes were expressed (the expression which involves inflammation and stress-response). They found that the genes down regulated.
Not only this, they also tested their stress recovery afterwards by asking them each to do a speech in front of an audience and camera! (Most of you are horrified by such a thought I would imagine).
They tested the cortisol (stress hormone) in their saliva after and found that the meditators were quickly able to recover from this stress – their cortisol was lower. The experienced meditators recovered from the stressful event far quicker than the non-meditators.
This is the first study which looked at the beneficial changes from meditation at a molecular level. Pretty amazing right?!
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