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

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.

Zinc Inhibits Throat Cancer

University of Texas researchers have found that zinc supplements can inhibit or slow the growth of esophageal cancer cells.

Moderate Exercise Guards Against Depression

A mere one hour of exercise a week reduced depression in 12 percent of Norwegian study participants.

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Linked to Autism

Children born to Swedish mothers that took antidepressants when pregnant had a slightly higher risk of autism compared to mothers with psychiatric conditions not taking the meds.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Meditation in Boston

In Boston, there are many meditation styles and teachers with a variety of training and personalities to choose from.

Shiatsu's Saviors

Helen Keller’s and Marilyn Monroe’s Places in Shiatsu History
In 1948, during the American occupation of Japan, U.S. President Harry Truman criminalized the practice of Japanese traditional medicine including shiatsu. Many traditional doctors became unemployed, including the blind shiatsu practitioners.

Reiki Meditation

The Inner Determines the Outer
The system of reiki, as developed in Japan by its founder Mikao Usui, is a complete spiritual self-development system of wisdom and compassion teachings, based in meditation and contemplation practices.

Women’s Rehab Center in Portland Takes Alternative Approach to Opiate Addiction

Greener Pastures Holisticare (GPH), in Portland, Maine, announces the grand opening of Greener Pastures Women’s Recovery Home.

New Initiative Creates Foundation for Carbon Neutrality

All are invited to attend Let’s Talk Carbon Neutrality, an upcoming event to be held from 7 to 9 p.m., February 8, at Boston University.

Inspiring Author Shares Story of Courage

Filomena Tripp, author of Invisible Courage, will be speaking from 6 to 8 p.m., February 6, at the Lakeville Public Library.