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Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 07, 2011

How meditation helps beat stress

Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in understanding how relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and prayer improve health.

Research collaborators from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Genomics Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center say that such relaxation techniques work by changing patterns of gene activity that affect how the body responds to stress.

“It’s not all in your head. What we’ve found is that when you evoke the relaxation response, the very genes that are turned on or off by stress are turned the other way. The mind can actively turn on and turn off genes,” says Dr Herbert Benson of the institute.

During the study, Benson and his colleagues compared gene-expression patterns in 19 long-term …