The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
If you are a practitioner of meditation, the results of a new study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology will likely come as no surprise. But for some scientists, the revelation that meditating can actually trigger molecular changes is groundbreaking.
The researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Institute of Biomedical Research in Barcelona, Spain found subjects who partook of 8-hour intensive mindfulness meditation showed significant molecular changes.
A group of experienced meditation practitioners spent an 8-hour day in mindfulness while a control group spent the day in quiet but non-meditative activities. The meditation group experienced genetic changes including reduced levels of inflammatory genes like RIPK2 and COX2, indicating faster recovery from stressful situations.
As Medical News Today reports:
“The extent to which some of the genes were down-regulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test, where participants were challenged to make an impromptu speech or complete mental calculations in front of an audience.”
In other words, the meditation helped participants keep cool under pressure. ..
What I’m wondering now is if you can meditate all day, during your daily activities, but cultivating a constant mindful but relaxed baseline state.