The Effect of Qigong Meditation on Serum Cortisol, BDNF, and Cognitive Function: A Pilot Study

Mind–body practices have a variety of health implications, including inflammatory modulation, cognitive improvement, and impact on neurofunction. Some of these effects have been demonstrated through rapidly developing technology and their impact on circulating blood levels of hormones and other molecules. As neurotrophic factors like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and hormones such as cortisol have been shown to play a role in cognitive function, this pilot study assessed the influence of a mind–body intervention, Qigong, on circulating levels in participants.

Nature Therapy: Part One: Evidence for the Healing Power of Contact with Nature

Human enjoyment of natural environmental settings is common to all cultures. It is a complex, evolutionary, psychophysiological response with notable potential to positively impact both physical and mental health of individuals and populations. Four decades of research have produced a large body of empirical and experimental studies demonstrating the benefits of contact with Nature. A sufficient evidence base now allows for meaningful systematic reviews and meta-analyses to begin to guide health recommendations. This is the first of three articles to review the state of the science on the potential health benefits of contact with Nature, covering Visual Nature, Forest Therapy, Gardening, Residential Greenspace, and Blue Space.