A study has found that a break of just six days sets off genetic changes which can boost the immune system, decrease symptoms of depression and dementia and reduce stress. All of that is enhanced further when you have a getaway that includes wellness programmes and activities, with the effects showing for as long as 10 months later!
At a resort where visitors could choose to simply be on holiday or to partake in wellbeing activities such as meditation, researchers on the survey collected blood samples for genetic analysis and gathered self-reported surveys on wellbeing before and directly after the holiday, as well as a month and 10 months later.
The results from the study show that all groups – novice meditators, experienced meditators and vacationers – had significant changes in molecular patterns after a week. However, novice meditators had fewer symptoms of depression and less stress for far longer than those who were just on holiday at both the one-month and 10-month follow up.
In an interview with Spa Business, Dr. Deepak Chopra expressed his belief that genes can be altered by healthy lifestyle changes, saying: “even though we all have genetic dispositions, it’s now known that biological ageing is influenced by lifestyle habits and daily activities such as meditation, movement, diet, stress management and quality of sleep. By making conscious choices and focused awareness, we choose to have a joyful energetic body, a restful alert mind and lightness of being.”
While meditation was the principle wellbeing technique used in this particular survey, researchers were keen to point out that beneficial techniques are not limited to mediation, but include other practices from yoga to spa treatments.
The study brings to into focus the reality that taking time out and taking care of mind and body is not simply a matter of indulgence or vanity, but an important part of long term health and wellbeing.
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