Mind-Body Approaches to the Treatment of Anxiety and Depression and Stress Related Disorders
Paul Epstein, ND and Nicola St Mary, ND
Connecting the Cell and the Self
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
by: Paul Epstein, ND and Nicola St Mary, ND

Section: Mental & Brain Health

Practitioners have known for a long time about the therapeutic benefit of mindfulness, meditation and relaxation for a wide range of health concerns.  Research is now offering us the mechanisms to explain how these powerful tools impact the cells and the physical and emotional bodies. 

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness based stress reduction have been shown to improve anxiety disorders, depression, and sleep issues by decreasing ruminations that cause stress. One study proved that one single day of mindfulness practice was enough to change gene expression, especially of inflammatory regulating genes, which correlates with recovering more quickly from stressful situations.  Another study notes that the deep rest state achieved through breathing, meditation, yoga and other practices triggers genes affecting immune function, energy metabolism and insulin secretion.

Yoga, mindfulness and meditation have produced antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects by reducing sympathetic nervous system activity.  In fact, there is so much research to support mindfulness and mind-body practices, that it is increasingly being included at the forefront of treatment. The research  further supports the importance and benefits of integrating this knowledge and mindfulness and mind-body medicine in clinical practice.
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