Yoga is not a drug, but addictive

Yoga to treat clinical depression and schizophrenia

Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy

Although studies on yoga and major health problems such as heart disease and depression are preliminary, Big Pharma/ Biotech would be drooling if the practice of yoga could actually be captured in a pill or other molecule from which it could profit, notes Murali Doraiswamy, MD, of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. His research involves mechanisms of brain aging, memory and emotions as well as conducting clinical trials of lifestyle and pharmacology strategies to enhance mental fitness.

However, since yoga is most assuredly not a drug with potential sales revenues, the incentives to do studies to evaluate its efficacy for treating health conditions just don’t exist. As a result, research on yoga tends to be somewhat uneven and largely preliminary.

Yet, says Dr Doraiswamy, from what we know based on preliminary studies, yoga holds significant potential to help almost anybody achieve improved health.

Take depression. By practicing yoga, one may never reach the point where clinical depression takes over, and, if it has, yoga can help to reduce the symptoms. Yoga with medication may help people with schizophrenia, he adds.

Yoga can be preliminarily recommended as an effective intervention for reducing blood pressure, according to a new study published in evidence Based complementary and Alternative Medicine. Researchers at the Department of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, analyzed 17 studies conducted from 1966 until 2013 and found yoga “had a modest but significant effect” on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure with an average reduction of 4.17 mmHg and 3.62 mmHg, respectively. The more intensely committed one is to yoga, the more significant the reduction in blood pressure. When study participants incorporated three basic elements of yoga practice (postures, meditation and breathing), their systolic pressure went down 8.17 mmHg and diastolic 6.14 mmHg.

Medical Yoga Therapy

Because of the growing respect for yoga’s medical credibility, more and more people have begun visiting therapists who combine knowledge of yoga with that of medicine. Yoga therapists customize individual practice plans that address a patient’s specific psychological and physiological needs. The International Association for Yoga Therapists, based in Prescott, Arizona sets standards and can be a resource to find a qualified professional.

References
Hagins M, States R, Selfe T, Innes K. effectiveness of yoga for hypertension: systematic review and meta-analysis. evid Based complement Alternat Med. 2013:649836. doi: 10.1155/2013/649836. e-pub May 28, 2013.
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