Filling our lungs with incense and essential oils, sweating in a warm yoga class, and breathing through our various asanas, we are rarely aware of the deeper effect yoga is having on our bodies, specifically, our DNA. When we think about yoga and stress relief, we don’t often take the time to break that relationship all the way down to a molecular level. Instead, we settle on having our minds be a little less chaotic, our bodies be a little more relaxed, and our spirits having a little more “Om” than “OMG”. Frontiers of Immunology, a published journal, recently published research into the effect of yoga on DNA.
Studying the effects of various ancient practices for stress relief and relaxation, including tai chi and meditation, the research revealed that these calming practices don’t just slow down some of our responses by lowering our voice and pulling a zenful fog over our eyes. We’re changing on a molecular level. The change taking place is actually a reversal of human reactions. It’s as significant as it sounds. Yoga undoes our humanness and really makes us a bit more transcended. Specifically, the research found that the way the sympathetic nervous system reacts to stress is reversed.
Genetically, the sympathetic nervous system can be triggered by stress, especially chronic stress which goes untreated or unresolved for long periods of time. In reaction, the sympathetic nervous system produces cytokines, which are protein. Too much of these proteins cause inflammation in other cells, which is how stress gets its bad reputation. Inflammation as a result of stress causes sickness and disease, like depression, cancer, and more. Yoga and other relaxation practices quite literally decreased the amount of cytokines produced by the sympathetic nervous system, thereby putting a halt to inflammation in other cells. Not only does yoga make humans act and feel like better humans, the practice preserves human health and wellness on a molecular level.
Yoga is part of the integrative approach to treatment we offer here at Lakehouse Recovery Center. We want you to be as excited and amazed by the process of recovery as we are. In addition to our evidence based practices, clinical therapy methods, and proven holistic healing treatments, we firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine. When you come to Lakehouse, you come to learn how to have fun in sobriety, creating a new way of life where drugs and alcohol are not required. For information on our residential treatment program and unique twelve month after care, call us today: 877.762.3707