Delay or Reverse Aging with Qi Gong, Meditation, Yoga and More

There’s increased evidence showing that practices such as qi gong, meditation and yoga can not only prevent disease, but actually reverse it and delay aging as well. As scientists learn more about such topics as gene expression, what turns a gene on or off, and how to prevent telomeres, (the strands of protein in our cells that control aging) from unraveling, it becomes impossible to ignore just how much our good lifestyle choices can pay off. For instance, researchers at UCSF have shown for the first time that “changes in diet, exercise, stress management and social support may result in longer telomeres, the parts of chromosomes that affect aging.”

In another article on the website www.yang-sheng.com, Dr. Sharon Montes writes of her interest in Dr. Dean Ornish’s work in preventative medicine using diet, exercise and meditation to reverse illness, cancer and aging:

“Building on this work, other researchers have found that meditation and nutrition can actually change the structure of our genes. Dr. Ornish and others have shown that the lifestyle decisions that we make actually turn on or turn off genes. One study “Changes in prostate gene expression in men undergoing an intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention” ( http://www.pnas.org/content/105/24/8369.full.pdf ) of men with low-risk prostate cancer who followed a program of intensive nutrition and lifestyle changes showed changes in genetic activity after only three months on the program. Genes that promote cancer suppression were up-regulated, while genes lead to cancer promotion were down regulated.

If you imagine our genes to be a spiral of proteins that wind and unwind to give form to various chemicals and structures in our body, the telomere is the “cap” at the ends of the spiral that keeps the spiral in order. (One writer compares it to the plastic coating on the end of a shoelace that keeps the threads from unraveling.) With time and successive cell divisions, our telomeres become shortened and our chromosomes become somewhat frayed. It has been shown that healthy diets and stress management/meditation can lengthen our telomeres.”

The Qi Gong Institute also has done research and shown favorable results in the use of Qi Gong to “lengthen telomeres,” in other words, to reverse or delay aging. There are similar studies showing that meditation helps to lengthen telomeres as well, perhaps because it reduces stress in the body .

Click here for our podcast interview with Mingtong Gu

Click here for our review of Wisdom Healing (Zhineng) Qigong: Teachings by Master Mingtong Gu

Click here to read a review of Sound Healing: Lesson One

Click here to read a review of Sound Healing: Lesson Two

Click here to read a review of Sound Healing: Lesson Three

Click here to read a review of Sound Healing: Lesson Four

Click here to read a review of Sound Healing: Lessons Five & Six


Meditation Saved My Life by Phakyab Rinpoche with Sofia Stril-Rever

In 2003, Tibetan lama Phakyab Rinpoche was admitted to the emergency clinic of the Program for Survivors of Torture at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. After a dramatic escape from imprisonment in China, at the hands of authorities bent on uprooting Tibet’s traditional religion and culture, his ordeal had left him with life-threatening injuries, including gangrene of the right ankle. American doctors gave Rinpoche a shocking choice: accept leg amputation or risk a slow, painful death. An inner voice, however, prompted him to try an unconventional cure: meditation.

Read More.
Filed Under: ·

Peace and Where to Find It

| review by Cheryl Shainmark

Peace and Where to Find It is a slim gem, packed with insight and wisdom. For fans of Eckhart Tolle, Peace takes up where Tolle’s The Power of Now leaves off, (and, in fact, Eckhart Tolle wrote the introduction for this book), but it’s not necessary to have read one to enjoy the other. The author, Christopher Papadopoulos, has clearly walked the walk, done the work, and come back to share his transformative experience with us.

Read More.
Filed Under: ·

Mindfulness In Schools Project

The Mindfulness in Schools Project began in the United Kingdom, but has spread to the US with its partner, Anima Learning. They’ve been featured on BBC, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and more. Started in 2009 as a non-profit by educators and long-time mindfulness practitioners Richard Burnett and Chris Cullen, MiSP seeks to help every child develop the skills needed to flourish fully and handle difficulty throughout life.

Read More.
Filed Under:

What is Mindfulness, by Linda Lehrhaupt, PhD

Mindfulness meditation has been described in many ways in recent years, but I still find that one of the definitions by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is very helpful. He says that mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally. He added in an interview on YouTube…“as if your life depended on it.”

Read More.
Filed Under:

Deep Awake by Tim Freke

| review by Cheryl Shainmark

Deep Awake is a wonderful addition to the fields of consciousness and spirituality. The author, Tim Freke, has put together a deceptively simple guide for “waking up” and living consciously. Unlike most of the genre, the ego, with all its strengths and weaknesses, is not vilified, but embraced. For those who have failed at prior efforts to meditate and reflect, this unique approach may help them to succeed.

Read More.
Filed Under: · ·

Mindfulness for Parents by Amber Hatch

| review by Cheryl Shainmark

Much like the benefits of meditation, the quiet wisdom of Mindfulness for Parents sneaks up on you. Amber Hatch has captured perfectly the pitfalls of parenting and the remarkable equanimity that can be achieved by practicing compassion, loving kindness and mindfulness. Whether you are new to parenting, new to meditation, or both – you will reap the benefits of Hatch’s insights and practical advice.

Read More.
Filed Under: · ·

Cops Learning to Meditate: a Hopeful Image

In this year of so many shootings, riots and negative images of police officers, it’s heartening to share stories of police men and women who are making a difference and trying new things to help the public and themselves. In Peel, Canada, police and trainees are learning to meditate (video) to reduce stress, and attending classes in mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy at a nearby temple. As reported in The Huffington Post, the event is expected to be the first of many future classes and will include future sessions with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Peel Paramedics. In a country where the charismatic Prime Minster, Justin Trudeau, is known to embrace yoga and meditation, there has been a groundswell of support for these methods.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Hale Clinic on Meditation: Research & Science

| by HaleMeditation.com

Centuries ago, yogis discovered that through the use of meditation and yoga practices, they were able to address physical, mental and spiritual imbalances that were arising in themselves. Many yogis maintained perfect health on all levels. The sacred knowledge of yoga has been passed down from guru to disciple for centuries and is growing rapidly in popularity in western society as people turn to yoga for answers to their medical and mental concerns. Ancient yogic techniques can be used in a fresh approach to living, as they address many of the problems that we all face in our daily lives.

Read More.
Filed Under: ·

Sounds Wonderful by Rick Heller

It’s common to meditate while listening to beautiful music, but I’ve found that meditating to ambient sounds—whatever sounds are present at this very moment—is not only a wonderful meditation, it provides a deep insight into where we can find joy in our lives. I lead weekly meditations at the Humanist Community at Harvard, and one of our mainstays is the ambient sound meditation. I first learned it myself when I attended a workshop by the Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. The idea is to pay attention to all the sounds around you with a friendly welcoming spirit. This includes the sounds of trucks and buses going by, sirens, coughing, rustling and other sounds that we typically label as “noise.”

Read More.
Filed Under: