For those who have mastered the rhythms of spinning fiber, you know the meditative nature of spinning. The wheel or spindle moves with your body at a pace similar to the pace of breathing. A deep breath in, the spin of the wheel – a deep breath out, the winding of the spin… Very rhythmic and consciousness freeing. (BTW… This meditative nature of spinning is also a primary reason behind why I like to spin and therefore it’s a subject I’ve featured in my book Yarn Works: How to Spin, Dye, and Knit Your Own Yarn.)
I just came across some news that relates to this meditative aspect of spinning. There is a study, recently released by the University of Wisconsin, that discusses how meditation can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the genes that cause inflammation. Here’s a synopsis of that study (pulled from www.drweil.com)…
Reprogramming Inflammation with Meditation
We know that over time chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation can contribute to serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. A new study from the University of Wisconsin shows that meditation can actually affect the genes that cause inflammation. Researchers measured the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness meditation in a group of experienced mediators and compared them with those of quiet, non-meditative activities by a group of untrained volunteers. After eight hours of meditation, the researchers found altered levels of gene-regulating compounds and reduced activity levels of the pro-inflammatory genes in the experienced meditators. These changes were correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation, the investigators explained. They reported that these findings are the first to show that mediation can inhibit production of proteins by some genes that cause inflammation and noted that at the study’s outset there were no differences in the genes tested in both groups. They also reported that the positive changes were seen in genes that are the targets of anti-inflammatory and pain killing drugs.
So I present to you the possibility that spinning, as a meditative practice, may just be anti-inflammatory!