If you listened to "Being" (used to be called "Speaking of Faith") on National Public Radio this morning, you heard Krista Tippett interview Doris Taylor about her work with stem cells.
Nota bene: the stem cells that Taylor uses in her research are obtained from in vitro fertilization companies. They would have otherwise been discarded. Of course, I know that stem cell research is controversial, and I love Taylor's answer to the controversy (to paraphrase): she speaks of the common misperception that stem cells all come from aborted fetuses - they do not; and she asks folks who are so adamantly opposed to spend a week in a neonatal ICU; she notes that people whose children or loved ones are affected by a disease that could or has benefitted from stem cell research will most often come to allow and be grateful for it.Now, back to the subject of my post today: Taylor talks about the fact that we all have stem cells in our bodies, working for us all the time. She uses the example of a wound in the skin, which leaves an inflamation that she sees as the body's call to the stem cells do come and work their healing magic. In other words, we are all using and benefitting from our own stem cells. Further, she says that aging is really the process of stem cells losing their effecitveness.
Here is the cool part: research has showed that meditation increases the number and health of stem cells in the person practicing it.
Now, I do not have any evidence so credible as scientific research. But what this made me think of is that, in the past year or so - and despite the chronic pain of the migraines - numerous people have told me in very surprised tones of voice how good I look. Meaning healthy, I assume, and I always leave such conversations shaking my metaphorical head and wondering how that is possible, when I am feeling so poorly. Maybe it's the meditation!
I could really get carried away with this. Perhaps I could create one of those infomercials, appearing in chic clothing (which I would have to buy, as no one has ever accused me of dressing a la mode), dye my hair a younger color (not blonde, maybe auburn), adopt a dramatically energetic manner while extolling the benefits of meditation and telling people they simply MUST buy my DVD ...
So I just want to thank the NPR radio show, Being, for giving me the opportunity to write a light-hearted post today. I needed that.
I would love to hear from you. Please use the Comment box, below, or email me at email@example.com.