Can you enhance personal well-being through effortless lifestyle practices?

Chopra Foundation wants to demonstrate that personal well-being can be dramatically enhanced through effortless lifestyle practices. The primary ingredients are:

  • Good sleep
  • Stress management
  • Movement and exercise
  • Emotional balance
  • Proper nutrition

Can you reverse biological markers of aging and alter gene activity to promote radical well-being? The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative is a multi-institutional collaborative clinical trial to examine health benefits of integrative lifestyle practices at Chopra Foundation.

Synopsis

This study examined the effects of a 6-day Panchakarma-based Ayurvedic intervention which provided holistic instruction and experience in mind-body healing. The study reported significant and sustained increases in well-being, including spirituality, gratitude and self-compassion.

Overview

This study is a multi-center collaborative effort looking at multiple physical and emotional effects of a 6-day immersion into Ayurvedic mind-body practices. The goal of the Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) is to determine whether the practices of Ayurveda, meditation, and yoga can reverse biological markers of aging, alter cellular biology, genomics, and the microbiome. We invited 120 participants into this ground breaking research study in collaboration with Harvard University, the University of California San Francisco, Mount Sinai Hospital, Duke University, Scripps Translational Science Institute, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the University of California San Diego. This is the most complete study to date looking at the effects of a whole-systems approach on the mind-body physiology. Included in this study were measurements of psychological wellbeing, markers of inflammation and cell aging, metabolomics, genomics, and changes in microbiome between participants in an Ayurvedic immersion program versus a control group.

It has become increasingly recognized that ancient practices for wellbeing, including meditation, yoga, and specific herbs, can improve health and promote longevity. While studies have documented such effects for a variety of individual practices for wellbeing, few studies have taken a more systems biology approach that is simultaneously inclusive of numerous practices. The purpose of this study was to find out more about the health and psychological effects of participation in the Perfect Health course, the Chopra Center’s signature 6-day Mind-Body-Spirit wellness program, as compared to similar individuals who do not participate in the course, and rather participate in solely a vacation week at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA.

Scientific report

Nature – scientific report SBTI 2016 (link to Nature website)
Nature – scientific report SBTI 2016 (pdf)

Other interesting links

Where does wellbeing come from? A better answer by Deepak Chopra, MD, Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD and Paul J. Mills, PhD

Fred Matser (founder)

Fred Foundation was founded by Fred Matser in 1996 to contribute to the development of a more functional society. From a vision of interconnectedness of life and circular thinking.

Read more about Fred