Thursday, 5 March 2015
Telomeres and Well Being
The stress and strife of daily life have a direct effect on our health. Most dramatically, our very chromosomes are affected by stress. Telomeres are the end tips of our chromosomes, little caps that protect our DNA( the pink tips in the image above ).
Telomeres play an important role in cell division, and get a bit shorter every time a cell divides. In studies, subjects with inherently stressful lives -- notably mothers of special-needs children and spouses of dementia sufferers -- showed extraordinary wear and tear on their telomeres. The stress-induced disruption to their cells' life cycle actually caused them to age faster. But an enzyme called telomerase maintains and repairs the telomeres, prolonging the life of our cells. Increasing telomerase is a way to slow telomeres' unraveling. And guess how we can we do that? Meditation.
The effect appears to be attributable to psychological changes that increase a person's ability to cope with stress and maintain feelings of well-being.
"We have found that meditation promotes positive psychological changes, and that meditators showing the greatest improvement on various psychological measures had the highest levels of telomerase,"
said Clifford Saron, associate research scientist at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain
To me the most interesting information here is that what seems to matter most is one's ability to cope with stress and maintain feelings of well being.
Whether through Meditation , T'ai Chi, Releasing, Open Focus or as in my case a combination of these Arts. What is important is to find what works for you , what keeps your spirits positive and loving so your sense of well being is enhanced and your life can unfold in the most positive way for you. when this happens you contribute in the best possible way to the whole of humanity.