After just a short 8 week program teaching people with IBD, or inflammatory Bowel disease who had never before meditated or done yoga, profound changes happened: first, they drastically decreased the pain related to their disease, as well as had dramatic improvements in quality of life and anxiety levels. Even more amazing though, was that by taking blood samples and looking at their actual genes that were expressed, the genes for inflammation and for disease progression got turned off, and ‘protective’ genes got turned on instead.
What this means is that if you suffer with IBD, or IBS, which is now beginning to be understood as having inflammatory and stress causes similar to IBD, is that you can start taking control of your disease and start healing and changing things on a GENE level but just learning how to do a simple meditation or mindbody practice that turns on your Relaxation Response so you can get the same benefits as the people in this study!
And this was only after 8 weeks of a short 15 minute a day practice of turning on the relaxation response in the body! The Relaxation Response was discovered by modern science by famous Harvard Doctor Herbert Benson in the 1970’s, although this inborn response has been known of for thousands of years by eastern medicine systems, monks and meditators. We all have the potential to turn on this pathway in our nervous systems, but we have forgotten how to in modern life.
Above is a picture of the gene changes from the people in the study, courtesy of the Henry Benson MindBody Institute. You can see that the green genes turn to Red and the Red genes turn to Green after the 8 weeks of meditating–each little blob of colour represents one single gene.
There are so many different ways to access your relaxation response, it’s just a matter of picking one that you like best! If deciding what that is for you feels overwhelming, a simple and easy way to start is to use a guided recording, as most people find this easier when they are starting out than a self-directed meditation, and I’ve found from experience working my own patients and clients that this one is always a hit, and everyone I use it with looks forward to the part of the day they get to do it, instead of dreading it or procrastinating:) This is clinical hypnotherapy relaxation recording that I use with my clients and you can get it here for free so you can get started changing your bad genes to good ones and treat yourself to a 15 minute relaxation every day, just finding a place to relax, put in your headphones and start changing your brain:)
Just enter your email address in the form below to access the download page!