Morris Williams Realty

Yoga for Depression

by Lynn Ganster, PA 06/17/2019

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

Lynn Ganster, PA

It all began when I was 18 years old and my soon to be husband and I were searching for our first home. I loved the idea that I could be part of someones life experience but I had a life to live before acting on that idea! I never knew much about the industry, but after seeing the process firsthand of a difficult transaction my husband and I were involved in and how important each part of the ordeal was for both my husband, myself, and the owner, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Of course, I didn’t pursue real estate until I was finally able to dive in back in 2004, but it’s been a passion for as long as I can remember.

I can sit here and tell you that I have strong negotiating skills, local market knowledge, and so forth – and of course, I do – but one thing I want to share with you, the thing that is the most important tool I can provide you in your home sale or purchase is my passion. I didn’t get into the industry to make money. I got into the industry because I fell in love with it. I fell in love with homes, the character each one had, and the beautiful people I got to help transition from one home to another. I fell in love with hearing people's stories, really getting to know their needs for their futures, and focusing on ensuring that they found a home that actually met those future goals.

Real estate can be a stressful thing, moving out of a home you’ve known for years can be hard, and it can be harder if you don’t have someone to partner with who doesn’t take the time to understand that. My business goes beyond the professionalism I can bring to the table, my years of knowledge about our local market and communities, and past the number of sales I’ve made thus far. Instead, it prioritizes you. How much can you afford? What motivates your move? What do you HAVE to have to make this big transition in your life?

You need a real estate agent who understands that, and seeks to know the answer to those questions, and all of the other important ones that make buying and selling a reality for you. Let’s grab coffee or lunch, on me, and we’ll talk about your real estate goals. I’ll get to know your needs, I’ll share the amazing experience I can provide, and we’ll make sure your next move is in the right direction. You need more than a computer to find your dream home, you need a professional partner who has your best interest at heart from the moment you call to even after we close. I’m doing more than just selling houses in Florida, I’m helping you bring your dream home to life.