Using Yoga to Change Depression

by Susan Cioffi 07/28/2019

Most people simply think of yoga as a form of exercise or relaxation, but when practiced correctly, yoga can even change how your very DNA expresses itself in illnesses and depression. A review published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, of 18 studies spanning ten years found that mindful exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and forms of meditation can both relax us and even push back on bodily reactions at the molecular level. They can switch on, or off, parts of our DNA that cause illnesses and depression.

How it works

Our bodies have both the normal nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Your SNS is the switch for your fight-or-flight mode, and when it flips on, your body releases all types of chemicals and hormones to help you ward off whatever threat there is. In the absence of stress, once the danger is gone, this system returns to normal, and all the extra hormones, chemicals, and proteins dissipate. But in modern life, human stress levels remain high due to increased cortisol and other factors in our bodies. The constant switching on of these mechanisms increases the body’s susceptibility to illnesses, cancers, and mental health challenges.

The basic breakdown is this: when the SNS activates, it releases a molecule responsible for controlling how genes express. When genes release proteins known as cytokines, they cause inflammation, which in turn, contributes to ill-health and disease.

Yoga and other mindful exercises appear to decrease the production of the inflammatory cytokines. Science Daily reports that these studies show a deposit of a molecular signature on cells that reverse the effects of stress and anxiety. 

Practitioners call yoga, tai chi, Qigong, and other mindful activities “Mind-Body interventions” or MBIs. The studies show that MBIs trigger the brain to push DNA processes along a different pathway, one that increases wellbeing rather than inflammation. In this way, MBIs re-wire our molecules to protect our mental health and even heal addictions. Cancers seem to proliferate in higher-stress, inflammatory situations, so reducing inflammation and stress appears to reduce the incidence of cancer in those that practice mindfulness.

While meditation and relaxation techniques also work in this process, the combination of both the mindfulness and the exercise decrease both the sympathetic response and improve other bodily functions, so if possible, doing both may have more benefit.

To learn yoga or join a tai chi class, visit your local health club, Y, or see if a community college offers courses.

Seasonal Depression
Family
Health Tips
Riverview Realtor Remax Realtor 1 Riverview Realtor Listing Agent Homes For Sale Riverview Fl Houses For Sale Riverview Florida Riverview Homes For Sale New Homes Riverview Fl Houses For Sale Riverview Townhomes For Rent In Riverview Fl Lennar Homes Riverview Townhomes For Sale In Riverview Fl River View Realty Triple Creek Riverview Fl Triple Creek Riverview Lennar Homes Riverview Fl Real Estate In Riverview Fl Houses In Riverview New Construction Riverview Fl River View Real Estate Homes Riverview Fl New Homes For Sale In Riverview Fl New Construction Homes In Riverview Fl Riverview New Homes Townhomes In Riverview Fl Realtors In Riverview Fl New Townhomes In Riverview Fl Realtor Riverview Fl Riverview Townhomes For Sale Houses Riverview Fl Houses In Riverview Fl Townhouse For Sale Riverview Fl Riverview Townhomes For Rent Townhouses For Rent In Riverview Fl Lennar New Homes Riverview Fl Townhouses For Sale In Riverview Fl Riverview Property Realtor Riverview South Fork Riverview Fl Homes For Sale Riverview New Construction New Homes For Sale Riverview Lennar Homes South Fork Riverview Fl New Construction Townhomes In Riverview Fl New Construction Homes Riverview Homes For Sale In Waterleaf Riverview Fl Riverview New Homes For Sale Riverview Lakes Townhomes Homes For Sale In Magnolia Park Riverview Fl Homes For Sale Near Riverview Fl Lennar Homes Triple Creek Riverview Fl Oak Creek Townhomes Riverview Magnolia Park Townhomes Riverview Fl Oak Creek Townhomes Riverview Fl Riverview Townhomes Sanford Fl Summerfield Townhomes Riverview Fl Riverview Home For Sale Apartments For Sale In Riverview Fl Homes For Sale In Triple Creek Riverview Fl Mattamy Homes Triple Creek Riverview Fl Triple Creek Subdivision Riverview Fl Triple Creek Riverview Fl Westbay Lennar Twin Creeks Riverview Fl Lennar Townhomes Riverview Ventana Homes Riverview Fl Homes For Sale Waterleaf Riverview Fl Osprey Lakes Townhomes Riverview Fl Osprey Townhomes Riverview Fl Valhalla Townhomes For Sale Riverview Fl Riverwalk Townhomes Riverview Fl Valhalla Townhomes Riverview Fl Houses For Sale Near Riverview Fl Lennar Homes Waterleaf Riverview Fl Waterleaf Riverview Homes For Sale Ventura Bay Townhomes Riverview Fl Osprey Lake Townhomes Riverview Fl Lake St Charles Townhomes Riverview Fl Taylor Morrison Townhomes Riverview St Charles Place Townhomes Riverview Fl Avery Park Townhomes Riverview Dr Horton Townhomes Riverview Fl Lucaya Townhomes Riverview Fl Magnolia Park Riverview Homes For Sale
About the Author
Author

Susan Cioffi

Hi, I'm Susan Cioffi and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.