Objective: Key modalities of integrative medicine known to rejuvenate the mind and body are meditation, yoga, and controlled diet. It has been shown previously that intensive or prolonged mind and body therapies (MBT) may have beneficial effects on the well-being of healthy people and in patients. Telomerase activity and levels of peripheral blood adult pluripotent stem cells (PB-APSC) are reliable markers of long-term well-being that are known to decrease with age. The objective of this study is to understand the effect of our MBT program on telomerase activity and stem cells in blood collected from the participants.
Design: Here, we have investigated the effects of an intensive three weeks MBT retreat on telomerase activity and the peripheral blood stem cells in participants before and after the MBT. A total of 108 people were enrolled in the study; 38 men and 70 women (aged 18-90) randomly assigned for the study.
Results: Telomerase activity was greater in retreat participants at the end of the MBT retreat. About 45% of people showed more than one-fold increase of telomerase activity after our MBT program. Furthermore, about 27% of people showed more pronounced fold increase (2-fold) in telomerase activity after the MBT. In addition, a substantial percentage of people (about 90%) exhibited increased stem cell counts after the MBT.
Conclusions: The data suggest increased telomerase activity and stem cells count in peripheral blood from MBT retreat participants that may lead to increased longevity and better quality of life at latter age.