Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes

Molecule man 2007 12 09 picture 06No word on what kind of thoughts cause the most change… Spiritual counselor Michael Forrester summarizes the new studies at TunedBody:

With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing certain modes of consciousness can have positive health effects, researchers have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice 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 meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“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 Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas 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 (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the Journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects…

[continues at TunedBody]

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  • echar

    I feel that it is great that there is a return to some of studies done in the 60’s. fMRIs are a game changer. However I did read an article that disclaimed the effectiveness of them. I am uncertain of the validity though, considering that I am not a neuroscientist. I wish I had saved the link.

    • Rey d’Tutto

      How can one get objective data from the study of belief, thought, or meditation? The only methodology pertaining to said is entirely subjective, unless there’s a mechanism for measuring neurotransmitters in real-time…

  • http://happydoya.com/ Robert Run

    The connection between inflammation and such a range of illness is interesting to me. As to relates to this study, where the genes responsible for those reactions are observed to have changed during meditation.

  • lunasea

    Did you read it?

    “After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a
    range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of
    gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes,
    which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful
    situation.

    “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 Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William
    James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University
    of Wisconsin-Madison.”

  • Anarchy Pony

    Can I meditate my way to amphibious gills though?

    • echar

      You can, but probably not functional amphibious gills.

  • gustave courbet

    They actually meant gene expression, or the particular details of the protein a gene codes for, which can have numerous different configurations. But I agree that they could have worded it better.

  • BuzzCoastin

    I used key phrases
    to get my girlfriend out of her jeans
    for some gene expression

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      You sir are clearly a Majickian

  • Dylan

    The title of this article is massively misleading. This study didn’t find that meditation changes your genes, the actual sequence of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s that codes for life. They found that meditation changes gene expression, the levels at which the body produces proteins. The genes themselves are not being changed.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Ahh but what of the generations of “junk” DNA that are “unused”.
      What if certain “unused” traits are activated epigenetically. This may be more intruiguing than modifying the ATCG’s of DNA… Why rebuild the wheel? Maybe we can get Anarchy Pony his gills?
      This isn’t the first time ive seen the effects of meditation on epigenetics.

  • Rey d’Tutto

    More accurate to say they are differing facets/views of the same underlying phenomenon.

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