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Meditation & Wrinkles…


Can meditation turn back our biological clock? Quite possibly. A study published in 2013 found that people who meditated daily had longer telomeres than people who don’t get their zen on regularly. (Biochemistry 101: Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. Chromosomes are the building blocks that make up DNA. And DNA makes you human. Or a tree. Or a dinosaur. It’s amazing stuff.) Generally, telomeres shorten as we age, this we cannot avoid. However what’s interesting is that telomere shortening may be accelerated in the presence of cellular oxidative damage, more commonly known as Miss Free Radical. And what’s a major contributor to Miss Free Radical getting all crazy and multiplying in your body by one trillion really quickly? Chronic psychological stress. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is according to Elizabeth A. Hoge, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Something about her title tells us she’s a credible source though.

So can meditation help? Yes! How? Well, meditating can be rather relaxing, it’s like a warm bubble bath for your brain after a long hard day. When you are relaxed you are not stressed. “Thank you Captain Obvious” we hear you say, but bear with us! A decrease in psychological stress leads to a decreases in the body’s production of stress hormones. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (public health enemies one and two, respectively) have negative effects on the human body. These effects include accelerated tissue damage which = premature aging.

Now don’t go getting stressed about being stressed, that would be completely counterproductive. We are covering this topic to engage the modern day gal, and as any modern day gal will quickly point out- a certain amount of stress is unavoidable in our world today. But we implore you- START MEDITATING! In particular explore loving-kindness meditation. This form of meditation has its origins in the Buddhist tradition but anyone and everyone can and should give it a go. Ladies that visit us at The Nurtured Mind love it as the benefits are immediately palpable.

As you practice loving-kindness meditation you are encouraged to think of other people. Someone who you know well, someone you don’t, a person you like and finally, a person you may want to smack (although, at The Nurtured Mind we try and refrain for using the term ‘smack’). This type of social focus can lead to a significant increase on the activity of the oxytocin in the brain. Boosts in oxytocin have been linked to health benefits including lower blood pressure, faster wound healing and you guessed it, slowing down the aging process.

Now, what about Botox and similar fandangle “treatments” available out there? Well, if you feel good about this stuff then go for it. We won’t tell anyone!

But if you’re stuck on the fence, (the way many modern women are these days) be open to asking yourself ‘does this stuff really feel good?’


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