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Yoga and Meditation for Loss of Memory 2017-04-26T15:29:50+00:00

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Yoga and Meditation for Loss of Memory
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Forum Posts: 26
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April 27, 2015
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April 17, 2008 - 6:16 pm
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Namaskar,

There is encouraging news, but usually yoga and meditation are considered adjunct therapies for memory loss.

I really think the person in question should see a family doctor first. Most yoga teachers are not qualified to speculate whether the cause could be an unidentified form of dementia, Alzheimer's, OCD, ADD/ADHD, a learning disability, or something else.

What you are talking about requires a visit to a medical professional. In the case of memory loss, a consultation with a medical or Ayurvedic doctor should be taken care of first. There could be many reasons for this, so you may want to get medical tests before deciding what to do. In the case of Yoga and meditation for improving memory, there is promising news if you go through the studies.

Please see a doctor first!!!!

Peace,

Gator

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August 11, 2015 - 7:30 pm
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The benefits and advantages of practising yoga are countless. Practising yoga contributes to your all-round development – physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual development. While typically yoga is practised to enhance one’s physical and mental fitness, researchers have begun to research about the therapeutic aspects of yoga. Research studies are starting to reveal that yoga can be useful in treating various physical and mental disorders. In this article, we will focus on whether practising yoga can help people with dementia.

Let us first understand what is dementia. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, dementia is a condition in which cognitive functions, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning, decrease significantly than what occurs with normal aging.

Let us now see what some of the research studies reveal about the impact of yoga on people suffering from dementia. THE NCCIH makes a mention of some preliminary studies, which suggest that mind and body practices, such as music therapy, could be helpful in lessening the symptoms of dementia.

A research article published in 2011 in the International Psychogeriatrics journal states that yoga exercises positively impact both the physical and mental health of elderly people with dementia living in long-term care facilities. In fact, the research article concludes by recommending that yoga can be included “as one of the routine activities in these long-term care facilities”. The participants in this research study were 68 Taiwan-based senior citizens with mild to moderate dementia, and were in the age range of 60 and above. Of these, 33 participants participated in a 12-week yoga training program, in which they practised silver yoga exercises thrice a week for 55 minutes. The silver yoga exercises included some warm-up exercises, light Hatha yoga poses, relaxation, and guided-imagery meditation. The remaining 35 elders maintained their usual daily activities. Results revealed that the participants practising yoga “had better physical and mental health than those who did not participate”.

In yet another research article published in 2013 in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, results revealed that yoga improved cognitive functions of the participants who participated in the yoga training. A total of 87 participants completed the study. Of these, 44 were assigned to the yoga group, whereas 43 were assigned to waitlist. The participants were senior citizens residing in residential care homes and were in the age range of 60 and above. The yoga group participated in yoga training for six months, and exercises included some loosening exercises, Sukṣmavyayāma or physical postures, Prāṇāyāma or breathing exercises, and meditation in the form of Nādānusandhāna (OM meditation). The results revealed that the yoga group showed considerable “improvement in immediate and delayed recall of verbal (RAVLT) and visual memory (CFT), attention and working memory (WMS-spatial span), verbal fluency (COWA), executive function (Stroop interference) and processing speed (Trail Making Test-A) than the waitlist group at the end of six months after correcting for corresponding baseline score and education.”

Some research studies have started to reveal that yoga can have positive impact on people suffering from dementia, and the yoga exercises can help in improving cognitive functions in general. We recommend that you make yoga a part of your lifestyle to benefit the most from it. However, if you have specific or general health problems or emotional problems, we recommend you to seek medical advice before proceeding with practising yoga. With your physician’s permission, you can start practising yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher. Be sure to discuss all your health problems with your yoga teachers, so that the exercises can be suitably modified to cater to your needs.

References:

NCCIH: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/alzheimers

NCCIH: https://nccih.nih.gov/about/offices/od/alzheimers

Fan, Jue-Ting, and Kuei-Min Chen. "Using silver yoga exercises to promote physical and mental health of elders with dementia in long-term care facilities."International Psychogeriatrics 23.08 (2011): 1222-1230.

Hariprasad, V. R., et al. "Randomized clinical trial of yoga-based intervention in residents from elderly homes: Effects on cognitive function." Indian journal of psychiatry 55.Suppl 3 (2013): S357.

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