Monday December 17, 2018

Yoga can benefit couples trying to conceive: IVF Experts

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

6808408931_fa1a219e28Planning for and having a baby is perhaps the most magical time for a couple. For some, however, reaching this milestone can be difficult. Many couples face challenges while trying to conceive, and for many, supporting and carrying a pregnancy to term becomes difficult. According to studies, in around 40% of infertility cases referred for In Vitro Fertilization or IVF, the root cause can be traced to anxiety or depression, and sometimes both.

The causes of infertility can range from physical damage to the reproductive organs to environmental factors like pollution. A couple’s emotional and psychological health is also known to influence conception. If a couple’s continuous attempts at getting pregnant are met with frustration, they become fraught with anxiety and stress. This, of course, means further attempts at conception will also most likely not succeed. The couple is then faced with the option of seeking fertility treatments at a specialized clinic. In several of these cases, where mental and emotional factors are at play, a lot of money can be saved and emotional strain avoided by simply adopting natural approaches to meet fertility challenges. Yoga is one such option.

Couples trying to conceive, and couples whose diagnosis point to stress and anxiety as a hurdle to successful pregnancy, can greatly benefit from yoga. Yoga is known to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and improve physical health. Yoga designed specifically to improve fertility tones the pelvis, reduces stress, and helps prepare the body and mind for pregnancy.

“Yoga perhaps has become the most well accepted natural remedy for couples who want to conceive naturally without going for medical procedures as it improves blood circulation, reduces muscle tension and increases body flexibility thus, relieving physical and mental stress- all of which have direct impact on fertility of couples,” says Yogesh Vaidya, CEO of STG Lifecare Ltd, whose infertility guidance portal, ivfgurus.com offers free guidance to patients.

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Fertility Yoga and Its Benefits:

“Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life,” said B.K.S. Iyengar the foremost yoga teacher in the world.

Yoga incorporates different sets of poses that help strengthen the body, calm the mind, and maintain hormonal and physical balance in all bodily functions. It works on the entire body, including the reproductive system.

Fertility yoga uses some key poses to strengthen the endocrine system responsible for hormonal balance and the reproductive system. It helps maintain homeostasis, which is crucial in regulating and maintaining normal bodily functions. It also helps tone, soften, and open the pelvis in women, allowing release of tension in the abdomen, and free flow of energy in the area.

Yoga can help remove blockages and improve circulation in the reproductive areas. It also supports the immune system, which in turn helps the body fight infection and disease more effectively. Regular yoga promotes peace, releases muscle tension, infuses energy, and creates conditions that can boost fertility.

Several fertility specialists vouch for the benefits of yoga, and many clinics include it as a part of the holistic treatment they offer. Dr. M.L. Goenka, Director of Guwahati-based renowned and one of the oldest fertility clinic of India, Institute of Human Reproduction, says they specifically run yoga sessions for infertile couples and they have found a strong, positive correlation between yoga and fertility.

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New Study Shows Link Between Meditation And Greater Focus

Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size.

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Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health.

Pranayamic breathing – an important part of yoga and meditation – has a unique ability to strengthen our focus and a new study by Trinity College Dublin has unlocked its secret. The researchers note that pranayamic breathing affects the levels of a natural chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. The latter is released when we are challenged, curious, focused, or emotionally excited. When present at the right levels, noradrenaline helps the brain grow new connections and helps us concentrate better on important tasks.

The old masters were on the right track

The researchers noted: “Practitioners of yoga have claimed for some 2,500 years, that respiration influences the mind. We looked for a neurophysiological link that could help explain these claims.” The researchers did so by measuring breathing, reaction time, and brain activity in a small area in the brainstem called the locus coeruleus, where noradrenaline is made. Noradrenaline is affected by stress; when we are worried or anxious we produce too much, and cannot concentrate. When we feel lazy, on the other hand, we produce too little and once again, focus is lost. One way to boost levels is through yoga; another method which can complement the latter is the consumption of medical grade focus supplements, which contain compounds such as octopamine (which has a similar effect to noradrenaline).

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Conversely, those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain. Pixabay

Pranayamic breathing aces the right balance

In the above study, researchers noted that brain activity in the part of the brain where noradrenaline is produced raises slightly when we inhale and drops slightly as we exhale. Thus, balance is achieved and we can focus on what we have set out to do. Pranayama not only boosts concentration but also produces “changes in arousal, attention, and emotional control that can be of great benefit to the meditator.”

What is Pranayamic breathing?

Pranayamic breathing involves controlling and extending breath, with a view to manipulating your vital energy, battling stress, and improving your mood. It is often used in meditation and yoga and interestingly, many yoga experts rank pranayama as even more important than asanas (the postures performed in a yoga session). In yogic tradition, breath is said to carry a person’s life force. Interestingly, scientific studies back this assertion to the extent that pranayamic breathing is able to boost brain function and change the actual structure of the brain. In recent studies, pranayamic breathing has been found to lower or stabilize blood pressure, lower stress, and reduce anxiety and depression.

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In order to comprehend better the Indian seers constructed the special “BOAT” – named Yoga/Meditation.

Implications of the study for aging

The researchers are excited that their findings could signal a way to prevent brain aging. They stated that if brains typically lose mass as we age, practices such as pranayamic breathing greatly reduce the rate of brain shrinkage, thus potentially helping keep dementia and related diseases at bay. Because keeping noradrenaline levels at an optimal level can help the brain grow new connections, meditation is an ideal activity to pursue.

Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health. Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size. To make the most of the effect of breathing on focus, consider joining a yoga class or learning the essence of pranayamic breathing online or through an app like Prana Breath or Universal Breathing.