In terms of healing, many of us believe that the mind has an affect on the body–that if we think good thoughts, for instance, we’ll avoid the cold that everyone else seems to be getting. There’s some truth in that. The mind can affect the body. People who meditate, can, over a long period of time, alter the activity of their genes and change their bodies. Dr. Herbert Benson has proven it.
When cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson was approached 40 years ago by a group of people interested in his studying stress, he was initially cautious. Medically speaking, not much was known about the subject—other than that stress was a response to certain stimuli—and in the science community there was a certain prejudice that the area of meditation carried with it. So he brought the subjects in through the side door, in the evening, so no one would see them. For alternating periods he had them meditate and then think normally, while clinically measuring their metabolism and carbon dioxide elimination, their rate of breathing and their brain waves.
Original article posted in BrainWorld on December 15, 2011 and written by Margaret Emory.