Related Studies

This section has links and brief descriptions of recent studies indirectly related to our practice (i.e. relaxation,  breathing , psychology , exercise ) .  Lot's of fun and interesting information that you can use for practice or inspiration!


To Perform With Less Effort, Practice Beyond Perfection

ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2012) — Whether you are an athlete, a musician or a stroke patient learning to walk again, practice can make perfect, but more practice may make you more efficient, according to a surprising new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Physical Activity Yields Feelings of Excitement, Enthusiasm

ScienceDaily (Feb. 8, 2012) — People who are more physically active report greater levels of excitement and enthusiasm than people who are less physically active, according to Penn State researchers. People also are more likely to report feelings of excitement and enthusiasm on days when they are more physically active than usual.

Exercise Triggers Stem Cells in Muscle

ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2012) — University of Illinois researchers determined that an adult stem cell present in muscle is responsive to exercise, a discovery that may provide a link between exercise and muscle health. The findings could lead to new therapeutic techniques using these cells to rehabilitate injured muscle and prevent or restore muscle loss with age.


February 1, 2012, 12:01 am
  New York Times
Exercise as Housecleaning for the Body

When ticking off the benefits of physical activity, few of us would include intracellular housecleaning. But a new study suggests that the ability of exercise to speed the removal of garbage from inside our body’s cells may be one of its most valuable, if least visible, effects.

(One of the things we stress is how the exercises help "flush" the system of intracellular waste - here is an interesting study lending more scientific evidence to this concept)

Good Intentions Ease Pain, Add to Pleasure

ScienceDaily (Jan. 18, 2012) — A nurse's tender loving care really does ease the pain of a medical procedure, and grandma's cookies really do taste better, if we perceive them to be made with love -- suggests newly published research by a University of Maryland psychologist. The findings have many real-world applications, including in medicine, relationships, parenting and business.

"The results confirm that good intentions -- even misguided ones -- can sooth pain, increase pleasure and make things taste better," the study concludes. It describes the ability of benevolence to improve physical experience as a "vindication for the power of good."

Office Workers Spend Too Much Time at Their Desks, Experts Say

ScienceDaily (Jan. 13, 2012) — In a typical working week, people spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk and 7 hours sleeping at night. Prolonged sitting at your desk is not only bad for your physical health, but potentially your mental well-being.

Therapy in the Air :  Focused attention on breathing can boost mood

By Tori Rodriguez  | November 29, 2011 |  Scientific American

Feeling tense? Paying attention to your breathing for a few minutes could soothe your nerves. Practicing such mindful breathing regularly may even lead to better mental health, according to two recent studies.

Acts of Kindness Spread Surprisingly Easily: Just a Few People Can Make a Difference

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2010) — For all those dismayed by scenes of looting in disaster-struck zones, whether Haiti or Chile or elsewhere, take heart: Good acts -- acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation -- spread just as easily as bad. And it takes only a handful of individuals to really make a difference.

More Time Spent Sitting Linked to Higher Risk of Death; Risk Found to Be Independent of Physical Activity Level

ScienceDaily (July 22, 2010) — A new study from American Cancer Society researchers finds it's not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death. Researchers say time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. They conclude that public health messages should promote both being physically active and reducing time spent sitting.

Relaxation response affects gene activity from Harvard’s Stress Management Special Health Report

The relaxation response (RR) has been defined as a mind-body intervention that offsets the physiological effects caused by stress [1], [2]. The RR has been reported to be useful therapeutically (often as an adjunct to medical treatment) in numerous conditions that are caused or exacerbated by stress [3][6].

Mind-body approaches that elicit the RR include: various forms of meditation, repetitive prayer, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, guided imagery and Qi Gong [7]. One way that the RR can be elicited is when individuals repeat a word, sound, phrase, prayer or focus on their breathing with a disregard of intrusive everyday thoughts [2]. The non-pharmacological benefit of the RR on stress reduction and other physiological as well as pathological parameters has attracted significant interest in recent years to decipher the physiological effects of the RR. In addition to decreased oxygen consumption [8][10], other consistent physiologic changes observed in long-term practitioners of RR techniques include decreased carbon dioxide elimination, reduced blood pressure, heart and respiration rate [1], [2], [11], prominent low frequency heart rate oscillations [12] and alterations in cortical and subcortical brain regions [13], [14].

Self-Control, and Lack of Self-Control, Is Contagious  -  ScienceDaily (Jan. 13, 2010)

"The take home message of this study is that picking social influences that are positive can improve your self-control," said lead author Michelle vanDellen, a visiting assistant professor in the UGA department of psychology. "And by exhibiting self-control, you're helping others around you do the same."






Yoga And Meditation Change Gene Response To Stress"

The relaxation response (RR) has been defined as a mind-body intervention that offsets the physiological effects caused by stress [1], [2]. The RR has been reported to be useful therapeutically (often as an adjunct to medical treatment) in numerous conditions that are caused or exacerbated by stress [3][6].

Mind-body approaches that elicit the RR include: various forms of meditation, repetitive prayer, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, guided imagery and Qi Gong [7]. One way that the RR can be elicited is when individuals repeat a word, sound, phrase, prayer or focus on their breathing with a disregard of intrusive everyday thoughts [2]. The non-pharmacological benefit of the RR on stress reduction and other physiological as well as pathological parameters has attracted significant interest in recent years to decipher the physiological effects of the RR. In addition to decreased oxygen consumption [8][10], other consistent physiologic changes observed in long-term practitioners of RR techniques include decreased carbon dioxide elimination, reduced blood pressure, heart and respiration rate [1], [2], [11], prominent low frequency heart rate oscillations [12] and alterations in cortical and subcortical brain regions [13], [14].



This study provides the first compelling evidence that the RR [relaxation response] elicits specific gene expression changes in short-term and long- term practitioners."

They wrote that their findings suggest:

"Consistent and constitutive changes in gene expression resulting from RR may relate to long term physiological effects," and that "Our study may stimulate new investigations into applying transcriptional profiling for accurately measuring RR and stress related responses in multiple disease settings."

Fighting Prejudice Through Imitation: Asking White People to Mirror the Movements of a Black Person Lowers Their Levels of Implicit Prejudice

ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2011) — New research shows that you can reduce racial prejudice simply by having a person mimic the movements of a member of the race he or she is prejudiced against. The method may work by activating brain mechanisms that contribute to feelings of empathy....


Seeing Eye to Eye Is Key to Copying, Say Scientists

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2011) — Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but how do our brains decide when and who we should copy? Researchers from The University of Nottingham have found that the key may lie in an unspoken invitation communicated through eye contact....



Your Mother Was Right: Good Posture Makes You Tougher   -      

(lots of interesting conclusions in this study ... LH)

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011)
— Mothers have been telling their children to stop slouching for ages. It turns out that mom was onto something and that poor posture not only makes a bad impression, but can actually make you physically weaker.....
adopting dominant versus submissive postures actually decreases your sensitivity to pain. 

The study, "It Hurts When I Do This (or You Do That)" published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that by simply adopting more dominant poses, people feel more powerful, in control and able to tolerate more distress. Out of the individuals studied, those who used the most dominant posture were able to comfortably handle more pain than those assigned a more neutral or submissive stance. 

Caregivers Need to Let Go

Caregivers often try to baby those for whom they are caring to help make things easier and alleviate stress. In doing this, they force those they are caring for in a more submissive position -- and thus, according to this new research, possibly render their patients more susceptible to experiencing pain. Rather, this research suggests that caregivers take a more submissive position and surrender control to those who are about to undergo a painful procedure to lessen the intensity of the pain experienced.


Standing Tall Is Key for Success: 'Powerful Postures' May Trump Title and Rank -

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2011) ...  Although not anticipated by the researchers, they consistently found across three studies that posture mattered more than hierarchical role -- it had a strong effect in making a person think and act in a more powerful way. In an interview situation, for example, an interviewee's posture will not only convey confidence and leadership but the person will actually think and act more powerfully. "Going into the research we figured role would make a big difference, but shockingly the effect of posture dominated the effect of role in each and every study," Huang noted.

Body Posture Affects Confidence In Your Own Thoughts, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Oct. 5, 2009) — Sitting up straight in your chair isn't just good for your posture – it also gives you more confidence in your own thoughts, according to a new study. ....

"Most of us were taught that sitting up straight gives a good impression to other people," Petty said. "But it turns out that our posture can also affect how we think about ourselves. If you sit up straight, you end up convincing yourself by the posture you're in."


Exercise called "wonder drug" for cancer patients:What can it do?

CBS News - Ryan Jaslow - ‎Aug 8, 2011‎
(CBS) The latest "wonder drug" for cancer isn't a drug at all - but exercise. That's what a British cancer charity had to say in a new report detailing the benefits of exercise for cancer patients. "Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health," Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said in a written statement.

The report said doing recommended levels of 150 minutes per week could reduce a breast cancer patient's risk of recurrence or dying by 40 percent and a prostate cancer patient's risk of dying by 30 percent. Exercise also helps curtail side effects like fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease for all cancer patients. More physical activity can also reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50 percent, the report said.

"'It doesn't need to be anything too strenuous, doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or a swim all count," Devane said.

Macmillan's chief medical officer, oncologist Dr. Jane Maher, said in a written statement that health care professionals need to undergo a "cultural change" and make exercise an integral part of cancer care. The report found over half of general practitioners, oncologists, and nurses don't tell their patients the benefits of physical exercise. Maher once counted herself as one of these uninformed physicians.

"The advice that I would have previously have given to one of my patients would have been to 'take it easy'," Maher said. "This has now changed significantly."


Walking Around Is the Simplest Way to Shorten Hospital Stay, Study Finds

(imagine the $$ saved  nationally by reducing a day off each hospital stay!)

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2011) — Walking around the ward during hospitalization reduces the length of geriatric patients' stay in internal wards, according to a new study.  ....

The study found that all of the patients who walked around shortened their hospital stay by an average day and a half compared with those who did not exercise physical mobility. The study also found that those who walked around the ward on the first day of hospitalization shortened their stay more than the others. The researchers stated that they found this to be relevant regardless of the patients' health status.


Health-Care Providers Are Prescribing Nontraditional Medicine: Use of Mind-Body Therapies On the Rise

ScienceDaily (May 11, 2011) — More than a third of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and that number continues to rise attributed mostly to increases in the use of mind-body therapies (MBT) like yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises.  .....

Nerurkar and her colleagues collected information from more than 23,000 U.S. households from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. They found that nearly 3 percent (representing more than 6.3 million Americans) used MBT due to provider referral and that these Americans were sicker and used the health care system more than people who self-referred for MBT.

"What we learned suggests that providers are referring their patients for mind-body therapies as a last resort once conventional therapeutic options have failed. It makes us wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system, and possibly, better outcomes for these patients," said Nerurkar.



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