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Research Demonstrating 
Mindfulness Stimulates Beneficial Molecular Changes

Some people level criticisms at the practice of reciting affirmations (for hours on end), saying this doesn’t [always] bring about the results that speakers and the self-improvement books may promise. It turns out that there is good reason that positive affirmation may be inadequate for making significant (manifesting) changes.

This study indicates that significant positive effects are predictably going to be found by meditators that are following mindfulness practices. In fact, the study results indicate that attaining mindfulness is key to positive beneficial results.

Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression,” says study author Richard J. Davidson Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds; the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

People that suffer from inflammatory conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma) probably may benefit from mindfulness meditation techniques, according to the study.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says Davidson.

This and related investigations strongly indicate that a mind will adjust the body’s biology to fit with beliefs. In short, these studies confirm the adage that you are what you think. Since people are typically conflicted, this may seem sometimes untrue. However, I’ll post additional studies in the future — it’s no longer a cliché.

The emphasis and focus of Davidson’s current work is on interactions between prefrontal cortex and the amygdala and on regulation of emotion in both normal subjects and patients with affective and anxiety disorders. He’s been working extensively with meditation and particularly with developing easy to use mindfulness meditation technique.

His previously successful research studies focused on cortical and subcortical substrates of emotion and affective disorders, including depression and anxiety. His works raised clamor occasionally for two reasons. First, his tenant that happiness is a skill that just about anyone can learn causes occasional stirring amongst patient groups for those that suffer from prolonged sadness. Second, he is a friend of the 14th Dalai Lama and this set off some a protest about the validity of his research. Looking into this, I am pleased to find that his work is impeccable and that outcome results are impressive.

How may this new research evidence be useful?
First, certainly, developing a practice that includes mindfulness is a positive activity. The studies demonstrate that mindfulness is linked to improved health and is useful for managing pain. Further study is warranted and its expected that continuing research may help to define how mindfulness meditation may improve outcomes for those that suffer mentally and emotionally. Additionally, new brain imaging and chemical monitoring may lead to additional findings and methods for regulating emotion and may even be useful to diminish mental health problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or major depression.


Program Description
From Life to Lab: Early Adversity, Brain Circuitry, and the Emergence of Well-Being (by Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) with my favorite happiness guru, Matthieu Ricard in some of the discussion on emotion and on meditation; factors that generally may increase or decrease well-being, happiness, authenticity, compassion, peace, and joy. The program includes a presentation (forward to 14:00 minutes) to the 14th Dalai Lama that covers how stress and conditions of adversity or abuse effect brains and how self-regulation and brain growth may develop depending on conditions during youth. Davidson speaks briefly about a Madison, WI public school initiative that teaches mindfulness meditation to school children and the positive outcomes there.

see also: The Mind and Life Institute and Mindful: taking time for what matters.


Center for Investigating Healthy Minds



Do I live a life of faith that shows that
I know that God has a plan for me and us?

change from within –
“This is my wonderful journey of self discovery. Love envelopes me and the gentle waves of peaceful waters and the light shine from my mind into the world around me.”


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Just e-mail me at thehunt4truth@yahoo.com


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