While writing the product description page for 7 Minute Flexibility I went over to PubMed to see how much (how little actually) research there was on the benefits of flexibility.
Unfortunately, stretching being a free thing that anyone can do, there’s not money to be made from researching and promoting it.
If flexibility could be put into a pill, now that would be worth something! (And Big Pharma would rush to cash in. I mean they’re already working on curing loneliness with a pill…)
I sum up the research I came across on the main page.
This includes stuff you might expect such as less arterial stiffness which leads to less stroke and heart disease.
And in general, less all-cause mortality. That’s great. I’ll take dying from anything less!
This would all fall into the realm of common sense. But you know what they say about common sense!
But the next part surprised me…
Researchers found that stretching reduced cancerous tumor growth because of lowering inflammation and fibrosis.
Now it was only a mouse study, and therefore we can’t automatically extrapolate it to humans. But based on the mechanism (inflammation being pretty common to mammals) I think it would be safe to do so.
This also goes back to something I learned a while back when doing research for my book, Powered By Nature.
Mechanoreceptors in the cells, even the nucleus and genetic expression, are changed via physical forces on the body.
You see, most people that are aware of epigenetics tend to talk about it in a few different categories:
And indeed all of these things can and do act to flip on and off genetic switches.
Understand that movement is another category which can do the same!
Physical forces, be that from walking, from lifting weights or from stretching, are not just working on your cardiovascular system or muscles as the mainstream fitness paradigm would have you believe.
No, it’s far more holistic than that. We’re meant to move!
Hopefully science will do its job right and continue to explore this fascinating area. But I wouldn’t wait for it to do so!
Since science is hard and, at best a lagging indicator, we can use a simple thing like logic.
Of course, cancer has a genetic component. Just about everything has a genetic component. But that is merely predisposition. From there it’s all about what goes on that will cause cancer to become an issue or not.
Toxins (whether internal or external) are an even bigger part of the cancer puzzle.
And we can think about this in terms of the local environment (aka in your body). If an area is not moving, then it stagnates. Toxins will sit there. More toxins will likely accumulate as it becomes a waste dump site in the body. More inflammation occurs. And this provides a good breeding ground for cancer.
If an area is moving, then at the very least these toxins are supported in moving into the lymph system. Your immune cells and more can get in and do their job. Stretching and squeezing the tissue physically will help these processes to occur.
Look I’m definitely not saying that you will prevent (and certainly not cure) cancer from stretching, nor 7 Minute Flexibility.
BUT being flexible has enough benefits already. It makes sense that this could be one more benefit you can gain so why not aim to do so now?