You know meditation is good for you, but did you know mindful breathing creates new neural pathways in your brain, too – potentially reducing age-related cognitive decline? In a study published in the journal Psychophysiology, researchers from Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin gave participants a challenging cognitive task and monitored their breathing rate, reaction time and activity in the locus coeruleus – an area of the brain involved in attention and breathing, and the production site of neurotransmitter noradrenaline. Their conclusion? Not only did controlled breathing reduce levels of this stress hormone, it also helped develop new connections between brain cells, suggesting breathing can help you optimise your attention levels.
Breathing Ashtanga Yoga Photo Gallery
It’s official: fasting really does rejuvenate your health. New research published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell reveals starving your body of food for 24 hours dramatically improves your stem cells’ ability to regenerate. This study, focusing on the intestines, found that cells in fasting mice begin to break down fatty acids instead of glucose, which doubled their stem cells’ regenerative capacity. ‘Fasting has potential benefits for ailments that impinge on the intestine, such as infections or cancers,’ says Omer Yilmaz, a senior author of the study.
Want to know more about your health but hate bothering the GP? A handy new book of home health tests helps you do the detective work. ReBoot Your Health – Simple DIY Tests and Solutions to Assess and Improve Your Health (Hay House, £12.99) is written by Sarah Davenport, founder of Breast Cancer Haven charity, harnessing the knowledge she’s gleaned from years of work with top doctors, nutritionists and therapists. Do DIY tests for indicators such as sleep, bowel habits, blood pressure, candida and hormone imbalance. Then follow the solutions from conventional medicine and holistic healing.
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