Ignite FB Tracking PixelUsing Yoga to Change Depression - Tony Bruser
Using Yoga to Change Depression

by Tony Bruser 04/15/2019

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.

About the Author

Author
Tony Bruser

Tony Bruser, Broker/Realtor

Welcome! This website is designed to be a simple and effective way to search San Diego real estate with ease as well as learn more about my brokerage, Prime Pacific Properties. As a real estate broker and Realtor for over 30 years I have a wealth or knowledge to share with my clients.

My wife Cheryl and I have been residents of San Diego for over 40 years.  I obtained my original real estate license in 1987.   In 1989 I became a licensed broker.  In over 30 years or representing clients, I have successfully closed hundreds of residential and commercial transactions in California valued in the tens of millions of dollars.   With great experience throughout San Diego County as well as intimate local area knowledge, I works extensively to help buyers and sellers meet their real estate goals.    Good service is not difficult, it's common sense.    I have been honored to have assisted hundreds of clients over the years and now helping their grown children!    

I love the work I do and take great pride in it.   There are always challenges in every situation, that's what keeps the work interesting.    The knowledge I have acquired through experience is a critical asset that drives success.   Markets change as do conditions that impact those markets.  It's imperative you work with an seasoned real estate professional to provide accurate "real time" intelligence combined with years of negotiation skills.   I do not make decisions for my clients.  My focus is to make sure they have all the knowledge they need to make the right decision for themselves.

More than 90% of my business is through referral.  My philosophy is that if you take care of your clients’ needs, success will follow. 

If you are considering a San Diego real estate acquisition or sale,  or simply would like more information, please feel free to call or e-mail me anytime.    All consultations are without obligation and are completely confidential.