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From correcting neurological imbalances to improving mental health it is understood and accepted that meditation affects and alters our nervous system. Millions of people having a regular meditation practice in one form or another is an overwhelming proof of that. But can it get any deeper, to a cellular level?

Meditation and cellular regeneration has been a subject of scientific research lately, and now we seem to have first results. While it is still early to come up with a definite conclusion, preliminary evidence shows that even in case of cancer, meditation can be a valuable addition to a treatment and may help reverse seemingly irreparable damage.

Even if you can do it on your own, use of support groups will magnify the experience and accelerate results.


For the first time, scientists have found clear biological evidence that meditation and support groups can affect us on a cellular level.

We’re often told that being happy, meditating and mindfulness can benefit our health. We all have that one friend of a friend who says they cured their terminal illness by quitting their job and taking up surfing – but until now there’s been very little scientific evidence to back up these claims.

Now researchers in Canada have found the first evidence to suggest that support groups that encourage meditation and yoga can actually alter the cellular activity of cancer survivors.

As part of the research, 88 breast cancer survivors who had completed their treatment more than three months ago were monitored. The average age of the participants was 55, and to be eligible to participate in the study they all had to have experienced significant levels of emotional distress.

They were separated into three groups  – one was asked to attend eight weekly, 90-minute group sessions that provided instructions on mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga. These participants were asked to practice meditation and yoga at home for 45 minutes daily. The second group met up for 90 minutes each week for the three months, and were encouraged to talk openly about their concerns and feelings. The third control group simply attended one six-hour stress management seminar.

Before and after the study, all participants had their blood analysed and their telomere length measured.

Both groups who attended the support groups had maintained their telomere length over the three-month period, while the telomeres of the third group had shortened. The two groups who’d attended the regular meetings also reported lower stress levels and better moods.

Although this is pretty exciting research, it’s still not known whether these benefits will be long-term or what’s causing this biological effect. Further research is now needed to find out whether these results are replicable across a larger number of participants, and what they mean for our health long-term.

Source: ScienceAlert



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