Meditating Raises Spirits More than a Vacation

More Effective at Reducing Stress




PopTika/Shutterstock.com

Scientists from the University of California at San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School, in Boston, tested the effect of vacations and meditation on the genes of 64 women between the ages of 30 and 60 that were novice meditators. They all spent six days at the same resort in California. Half participated in a meditation program that included yoga, self-reflection exercises and mantra meditation; the other half did not engage in onsite meditation. The researchers also studied a group of 30 experienced meditators already participating in the resort’s meditation program.

Blood sample tests and surveys from all 94 women were conducted at intervals: once right before their stay, once right after, a third one month post-vacation and then 10 months after the trip. All the women displayed significant changes to their molecular network pattern after the six days, with the most substantial genetic changes related to immune function and stress response.

One month after the resort experience, all groups continued to display improvements. However, the novice meditators showed fewer symptoms of depression and stress for a significantly longer period than the women not participating in the meditation exercise.


This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Wise Words with Carl Greer

Carl Greer, a former businessman, has an extensive background in helping others help themselves. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, recognizes the interconnectedness of all creatures and feels compelled to serve others.

Love That Spice Partners with The Floured Apron

Love That Spice offers gourmet tea, spices and now also tasty bakery items from The Floured Apron (TheFlouredApron.org), a local nonprofit bakery job training program for underserved women in Winnetka, to which they donate 100 percent of the proceeds of each sale.

The Unique Oral Health Needs of Women

Hormonal fluctuations change the oral tissue, and an increase in hormones can even promote the growth of harmful bacteria.

Chicago Collaborative Attorney and Mediator

The Law Offices of Cindy K. Campbell helps people with various legal issues, such as wills and trusts, adoptions, guardianship, and collaborative family law and mediation.

Yoga and Himalayan Salt

The newly expanded Solay Wellness Center, in Skokie, is now offering yoga classes in a room encased in Himalayan salt.

Juicing Brings Delicious and Nutritional Benefits

Natural Awakenings asked several local juicing experts to weigh in on what makes juicing an important part of their daily diet.