In the modern world, where there is no money, there is no attention. This is especially true when it comes to the medical industry, which is why the science behind medical interventions that can be very beneficial is not at the forefront of mainstream medicine.
The study, published in 2019, is one of many that has proven how much interference with consciousness can affect human biology. It’s called “Love-Kindness Meditation Delays Biological Aging in Newbies: Evidence from a 12-Week Randomized Controlled Study” and was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Research shows that love-kindness meditation has noticeable positive effects at the cellular level. The study examined how different types of meditation affect telomere length, which is an indicator of physiological aging.
Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of DNA strands called chromosomes. They get shorter over time. For the most part, the more we age, the shorter they get. Other environmental toxins, such as smoking and bad habits, also contribute to the shortening of our telomeres.
There are also a number of habits and substances that have been shown to slow this process down and even lengthen our telomeres, such as fasting, which essentially means reversing the aging process.
“Chronological age and biological age are not identical. The former is measured in years, while the latter is often indexed by telomere length,” the authors explain. “Telomeres are gradually shortened during cell division (i.e., with aging) in general, but can also be replenished or lengthened by the enzyme telomerase.”
The study lasted 12 weeks and included 176 participants between the ages of 35 and 64. All participants had little or no meditation experience and were assigned to a 6-week love-kindness meditation workshop, a 6-week mindfulness meditation workshop, or a control waiting group.
The scientists took blood samples at the beginning and end of the study to measure telomere length before and after the meditation intervention.
The meditation workshop helped the participants focus on the present moment and develop a non-judgmental attitude. It was simply used to help them become aware of the present moment, while the love-kindness meditation workshop was aimed at helping participants develop warm and friendly feelings towards other people.
The researchers found that telomeres shortened in everyone, which is normal, but the daily practice of love-kindness meditation created a buffer against this contraction. The researchers explained that in the group practicing love-kindness meditation, “there was no significant shortening of telomeres over time.”
These results correlate with other studies that have examined meditation and telomere length. A 2014 study published in the journal Cancer found telomeres retain their length in breast cancer survivors who practice mindfulness meditation.
In addition, a 2018 study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that telomere length increased in meditation retreat participants after three weeks.
Feelings of gratitude, which can be part of love-kindness meditation, also alter the molecular structure of the brain. Neuroimaging studies have shown that this is indeed the case.
The attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, supports the functioning of the gray matter, makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happy, it affects the central nervous system. You become calmer, less reactive, and less resilient. This is a really cool way to take care of your wellbeing.
Other interesting research in this area has been carried out by scientists from the HeartMath Institute. Their research has also shown the importance of emotions, not only to our own biology, but to other people as well.
Research has shown that when we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave in a local field environment that promotes social coherence, whether at home, in the workplace, in the classroom, or sitting at a desk.
As more and more people emit heart coherence, it creates an energy field that makes it easier for other people to connect to their heart. Thus, it is theoretically possible that a sufficient number of people creating individual and social coherence can contribute to the formation of global coherence.
Peace, compassion, service to others, and positive emotions are often overlooked when it comes to changing the world and changing our human experience. While so often overlooked, they can be the dominant and most important factors that humanity must cultivate if we are to progress, move forward and flourish as a human collective.