Yoga and meditation may do more than just help you feel relaxed in the moment. A new scientific review suggests that these and other mindfulness exercises can actually reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression.
Studies published by “Frontiers in Immunology” show that these mind-body exercises appear to suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation. Inflammation can temporarily boost the immune system, and can be protective against infection and injury. But in today’s society, in which stress is primarily psychological, the body’s inflammatory response can become chronic and can impair both physical and mental health.
Researchers found that people who practiced yoga on a regularly basis had fewer signs of inflammation, including a decrease in their production of inflammatory proteins. Also, by choosing healthy habits every day, we can create a gene activity pattern that is more beneficial for our health, even by meditation for at least 15 minutes a day!
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