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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yoga For Colds and Flu

This cold and flu season, fight infections with yoga and meditation.
New research from Norway found that practicing yoga and meditation can cause quick changes in immunity. Study participants engaged in activities for 2 hours each morning on 4 consecutive days. One group practiced yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation while the other group listened to relaxing music and went on a nature walk. Every person participated in each group twice.

Researchers found that all of the activities altered genetic expression.

Listening to music and going on a nature walk had a positive impact on 38 different genes. Even more impressive, practicing yoga and meditation had a positive impact on 111 genes. As a result, white blood cells called natural killer cells, which defend our bodies against illness and infection, became more active.

Research studies have also associated yoga with lower blood pressure, better blood flow, increased immunity, less back pain, and improvements in strength, flexibility, posture, mood, concentration, learning, memory, and blood sugar control. 

Reference:

Qu S, Olafsrud SM, Meza-Zepeda LA, and Saatcioglu F. Rapid gene expression changes in peripheral blood lymphocytes upon practice of a comprehensive yoga program. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e61910.

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