By Gopi Rao
If you’re anxious about your health, career, or relationships, you are not alone. Research done in the UK recently found that Brits lose the equivalent of five years of their lives worrying about their health, money, and lifestyle. An article published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in early 2013, has better news, however. Although stress creates havoc, there is proof that Yoga can help.
Scientists looked at over 100 different pieces of research and concentrated on 16 well-respected controlled studies to see how Yogic practices affected schizophrenia, depression, sleep problems, eating disorders, ADHD, and learning disabilities. They found “positive effects” on sleep ailments and mild depression, even when patients took no medications. Yoga also had a beneficial effect on symptoms of ADHD and schizophrenia in participants on medication.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina say that biomarker studies confirm that Yoga benefits mental health in ways similar to talk therapy and antidepressants. Biomarkers are substances used to measure biological conditions in the body. One study showed that Yoga training positively affected inflammation, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress, second messengers, lipids, and growth factors.
This means that Yoga helps cells communicate with one another, allowing them to stay healthy and fight off toxins and disease. Yogic methods also help to regulate hormones necessary for physical and mental health. The World Health Organization says that over 350 million people around the globe suffer from depression, and this count doesn’t include other mental illnesses.
The lack of mental health facilities and the stigma associated with mental illnesses create financial and social problems on community and global levels. While drugs undoubtedly save lives, they can be expensive and create unwanted side effects, leading some people to stop taking them.
According to Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University and one of the study’s authors, Yoga shows promise but needs rigorous study with greater numbers of participants. Nevertheless, Dr. Doraiswamy expressed his sentiments with the following statement: “If the promise of Yoga on mental health was found in a drug, it would be the best-selling medication world-wide.”
While no one should stop taking medication without a doctor’s approval, there is no reason not to practice Yoga training in the meantime.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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