Complementary therapy changes gene response to stress

Wednesday 30th July, 2008

Yoga for stressComplementary therapies that help place the body into a state of deep relaxation can be capable of altering how genes behave when responding to stress, a recent study has suggested.

Mind-body techniques such as Yoga which can trigger the ‘relaxation response’ have been used for thousands of years to help treat and prevent illness and disease.

The relaxation response is characterised by a reduced oxygen intake, increased nitric oxide exhalation and lower psychological distress levels. The recent research claims that the response also produces changes in gene expression.

Researchers said their study showed that the expression of genes involved with inflammation, cell death and the way free radicals are handled were changed when the relaxation response was triggered through practices such as Yoga.

Further studies are underway to see if the same response can help to treat stress related disorders.



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