Manoj Bhasin and Herbet Benson have scientifically proven what we have suspected forever; relaxing does good things for your body. In a study alluringly entitled Relaxation Response Induces Temporal Transcriptome Changes in Energy Metabolism, Insulin Secretion and Inflammatory Pathways, they’ve studied a little-discussed phenomenon called the ‘relaxation response’ that is, in many ways, the opposite of the ‘fight or flight reaction’ that we’ve all heard of.
Unlike the fight or flight reaction, the relaxation response is consciously invoked to our benefit, rather than instinctively activated against our best interests. In this study, a group of individuals with absolutely no prior training or experience were taught meditation and yoga and learned how to “focus on a word, sound, phrase, repetitive prayer, or movement, and disregard everyday thoughts.” In short, they taught themselves how to stop stressing about whatever was on their minds.
The study revealed that practicing the relaxation response changed the expressions of the genes that controlled insulin secretion, inflammatory response, metabolism, and even DNA processes. They were more able to metabolize fats in their bodies into energy, and at the same time had less inflammation, less insulin, and even reduced their risk of developing new cancer cells.
They also examined a group of individuals who had been practicing the relaxation response for several years, and found that the same genetic expressions were evident, and in fact noticeably stronger than in the novice group.
In short, learning to relax in response to stress has a lot of benefits beyond just the cessation of worry. It can:
- Help you reduce pain
- Help you lose weight
- Help you reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases
- And much more.
Why do we consider the relaxation response important enough to produce our very first blog post on this topic? Because we’re all about relaxation; people come to Luxe Day Spa to relax (and become more beautiful, naturally.) Everyone likes to relax, but a lot of people seem to be too caught up in the day-to-day to take the time to actually do it.
We firmly believe that even if you do not have the right mindset to teach yourself the relaxation response, you can achieve most of the same benefits by coming in and letting us relax your body on your behalf. We might not have a study backing us up on that, but we’re positive that if you come in and give us a chance, you’ll be a believer before your second appointment.