John Denninger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, is leading a five-year study on how the ancient practices affect genes and brain activity in the chronically stressed.
Stress-induced conditions account for 60 to 90 percent of doctor’s visits in the U.S., according to the Benson-Henry Institute. The World Health Organization estimates stress costs U.S. companies at least $300 billion a year through absenteeism, turn-over and low productivity.
Dr Denninger’s latest studies use neuro-imaging and genomics technology to measure physiological changes in greater detail than previous studies could do.
His current study, to conclude in 2015 with about $3.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, tracks 210 healthy subjects with high levels of reported chronic stress for six months. They are divided in three groups. One group with 70 participants perform Kundalini Yoga (chosen for the study because of its strong meditation component), another 70 meditate and the rest listen to stress education audiobooks, all for 20 minutes a day at home.
We will soon get the results of this in depth study, stay tuned!