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Breakthroughs in Mind-Body Research

Breakthroughs in Mind-Body ResearchAn Interview with Ernest Rossi, PhD by Rebecca Aponte on excerpted here:

Ernest Rossi, PhD

Rebecca Aponte: As students of psychology and psychotherapy, we think and read and talk a lot about the mind—perception and memory, identity, and cognition. Can you convince me that it’s important in psychotherapy to think about the body?

Ernest Rossi: You say you want me to talk about the importance of the body? Wow. About time somebody asked. Well, ours is a fantastic generation. We’ve discovered what the mind-body connection is really all about. This comes from the middle 1990′s—neuroscience found that experiences of novelty, enrichment, exercise, both mental and physical, turn on activity-dependent gene expression, and that turns on brain plasticity, modulates the immune system, and activates stem cells throughout the body. And we’ve just completed a study, published last year for the first time—we used DNA microarrays to evaluate therapeutic hypnosis in psychotherapy. For the first time, we’ve established that therapeutic hypnosis in psychotherapy does change gene expression—specifically activity-dependent or experience-dependent gene expression.

Aponte: What are DNA microarrays?

Ernest Rossi: DNA microarrays are a new genomic technique of measuring in a single test with a few drops of blood (or other body fluids) all the genes that are being expressed in a moment of time. Our Italian-American team was the first to use DNA microarrays to determine a “molecular-genomic signature” (something like a genetic fingerprint) of therapeutic hypnosis. Other researchers have also used DNA microarrays and found that meditation, music, and Qi Gong can also turn on experience-dependent gene expression.

Click the link to read the complete interview with Ernest Rossi on Mind/Body Therapy.


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