A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

 

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Mercola

Tai Chi, a branch of Qigong, has been practiced for over 2,000 years. Qigong has an even longer history, dating back about 5,000 years.1 Originating in China, these exercises are said to balance and harness qi (also spelled chi), or “life energy,” and is frequently described as meditation in motion, as the activity takes you through a set of slow, gentle movements while you focus on your breath. Just looking at it, it may seem like these exercises do little in terms of exercising your body, but appearances can be deceptive.

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How Yoga and Meditation Can Biologically Reverse Stress

 

 

 

 

 

Have you been bitten by the yoga bug yet? Whether you’ve just decided to try it out at home with a few YouTube routines or you’re a veteran of advanced classes (we hear cat yoga and anti-gravity yoga are amazing), yoga has become an exercise staple for millions of Americans. One of the reasons that yoga has become so popular is because many health and fitness aficionados claim that a simple daily routine can significantly reduce your stress levels.

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A New Study Examines The Deep Benefits Of Meditation, Yoga And Tai Chi

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the Universities of Coventry and Radboud.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviews over a decade of studies analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different MBIs including mindfulness and yoga.

Experts from the universities conclude that, when examined together, the 18 studies — featuring 846 participants over 11 years — reveal a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health.

The researchers focus on how gene expression is affected; in other words, the way that genes activate to produce proteins which influence the biological make-up of the body, the brain and the immune system.

 

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Meditation and yoga can ‘reverse’ DNA reactions which cause stress

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us.

They can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.

The research, published today in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviews over a decade of studies analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different MBIs including mindfulness and yoga.


Mindfulness and meditation dampen down inflammation genes

People doing yoga
Hush those genes plainpicture

Meditation and tai chi don’t just calm the mind – they seem to affect our DNA too. There’s evidence that such “mind-body practices” dampen the activity of genes associated with inflammation – essentially reversing molecular damage caused by stress.

Mind-body practices such as mindfulness meditation are widely claimed to protect against stress-related diseases from arthritis to dementia. But although there’s plenty of evidence that they can relieve stress, the scientific case for physical health benefits has not yet been proven.

Recent advances mean it’s now easier to study patterns of gene activity inside cells, and there has been growing interest in using this approach to investigate how nurturing inner peace might influence the immune system and disease risk.