Epigenomic impacts of meditative practices

Author: Farah R Zahir1,2
1 Irfa'a Foundation, 5063 North Service Road, Burlington, ON, L7L 5H6 Canada.
2 Departent of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3N1 Canada.
Conference/Journal: Epigenomics
Date published: 2023 Mar 9
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.2217/epi-2022-0306. , Word Count: 138

Meditative practices (MPs) are an inherent lifestyle and healing practice employed in Eastern medicine and spirituality. Integrating MPs into world mainstream medicine (WMM) requires effective empirical investigation of psychophysiological impacts. Epigenomic regulation is a probable mechanism of action that is empirically assessable. Recently, WMM-styled studies have screened the epigenomic impacts of MPs with early encouraging results. This article discusses the variety of MPs extant across three major Eastern religio-spiritual-healing traditions and their integration into WMM via the lens of epigenomic modulation. MPs unanimously report positive impacts on stress-reduction pathways, known to be epigenomically sensitive. Early high-resolution assays show MPs are potent in altering the epigenome - dynamically and by inducing long-term changes. This suggests the importance of integrating MPs into WMM.

Keywords: MBSR; Quran recitation; Zen-vipassana; dhikr; epigenetic; heartfulness; meditation; mindfulness; qigong; tai-chi; yoga.

PMID: 36891912 DOI: 10.2217/epi-2022-0306