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” 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.

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The Buddhist Soul in Me

| by Cheryl Shainmark

I am many things, but I am not a Buddhist. Still, every so often the secret Buddhist in my soul demands to be fed: lighting a little incense, placing a flower in a bowl like an offering, sweeping a spider out the door (instead of squishing it), or taking a day trip to the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY.

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Yoga Science Teaches Us How to Transform Energy by Leonard Perlmutter

You learned in grade school science class that energy can appear in either the potential or kinetic form. The electricity in the wiring of your home is available for any use you choose. When you turn a light switch to the “on” position, energy appears in the form of light. This is the kinetic state because the energy is being used or expended. However, when you turn the light switch to the “off” position, the energy remains in the potential state–ready to be used at the flick of a switch.

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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.”

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Meditation: What IS the Real You? by Dada Jyotirupananda

| by Dada Jyotirupananda

Dada Jyotirupananda (video) writes, “The book, “Meditation: Searching for the Real You” came out of my experience as a meditation teacher. Why do I meditate? I first heard about meditation in my university days and gradually understood that it could help me in various ways…

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A Few Thoughts About Thinking

| by Cheryl Shainmark

I recently finished reading “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson, for the second time, (not something I usually do) and I was struck by an offhand observation that the young main character makes about another man who may be hundreds of years old. At one point, the old man is chanting and holds the same note for hours, (clearly some kind of re-breathing technique), and the young man ponders what it’s like to have such a different notion of time that you would want to chant the same note for hours. Then he has the insight that a mind that has done that probably has very different thoughts from a mind that hasn’t.

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MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

| by Merlian News

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Of course, many of us having been doing this for years, but did you know it had a name? First developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (video) in 1979, MBSR is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

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Remembering We Are One World by Stephen Thomson

At the end of a period of meditation, I slowly opened my eyes and saw my friend Everett, who had passed away three years earlier, standing in front of me.  Everett seemed so present – so alive – in that moment, and his vital presence remained as I came into full consciousness. Realizing what I was seeing, I was overcome by a whole range of emotions, the most intense of these being feelings of love and joy at being once again in the presence of my beloved friend.

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Treating Dementia With Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and Yoga

| by Merlian News

Do you know someone who suffers from dementia? Witnessing a loved one slowly lose their memory and reasoning skills can be a very painful experience. Dementia is a persistent syndrome that tends to get worse over time–affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. It is distinct from Alzheimer’s in that Alzheimer’s is a specific disease, but general dementia can stem from a variety of unrelated brain illnesses.

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How Meditation Can Affect Your Heart, Brain, and Creativity

Many people have tried to sell me on the idea of meditating. Sometimes I try it, and have an incredible, refreshing experience. But usually, as I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, while I know that I’m supposed to be letting all thoughts go, more and more fly through my mind. Soon I have a laundry-list of “to-dos” in my head … and then my legs fall asleep. It’s all downhill from there…. www.themindunleashed.org

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