Wednesday April 1, 2020

Yoga improves arthritis symptoms and mood: Research

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New York: Practicing yoga improves physical and mental well being of people living with arthritis, a painful joint disorder for which there is currently no cure, new research has found.

photo credit: blogs.discovermagazine.com
photo credit: blogs.discovermagazine.com

Without management, arthritis can affect not only mobility, but also overall health and well-being, participation in valued activities, and quality of life.

In the trial, people with arthritis who practiced yoga for eight weeks had about a 20 percent improvement in physical health with similar improvements in pain, energy, mood and carrying out day-to-day activities and tasks.

“Yoga may be especially well suited to people with arthritis because it combines physical activity with potent stress management and relaxation techniques, and focuses on respecting limitations that can change from day to day,” said one of the researchers Susan Bartlett, adjunct associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

The study recruited 75 people with either knee osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Participants were randomly assigned to either a wait list or eight weeks of twice-weekly yoga classes, plus a weekly practice session at home.

Participants’ physical and mental well being was assessed before and after the yoga session by researchers who did not know which group the participants had been assigned to.

Compared with the control group, those doing yoga reported a 20 percent improvement in pain, energy levels, mood and physical function, including their ability to complete physical tasks at work and home.

Improvements in those who completed yoga was still apparent nine months later.

The findings were published in the Journal of Rheumatology.

(IANS)

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Yoga may Help Decrease Depressive Symptoms: Study

Doing yoga may reduce depressive symptoms

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Yoga Depressive
Now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms. Pixabay

The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific health research and now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms.

The study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, proposes that yoga can increase levels of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the short-term and completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms.

GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms.

“The findings suggest that the associated increase in GABA levels after a yoga session are ‘time-limited’ similar to that of pharmacologic treatments such that completing one session of yoga per week may maintain elevated levels of GABA,” said study researcher Chris Streeter from Boston University in the US.

Yoga Depressive
Completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms. Pixabay

Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects approximately 16 million people in the US. every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Given its high morbidity, extensive research has been done on effective treatment modalities for depression. In a study, a group of 30 clinically depressed patients were randomly divided into two groups.

Both groups engaged in lyengar yoga and coherent breathing with the only difference being the number of 90 minute yoga session and home sessions in which each group participated. Over three months, the high-dose group (HDG) was assigned three sessions per week while the low-intensity group (LIG) was assigned two sessions per week.

Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brain before the first yoga session and after the last yoga session. They also completed a clinical depression scale to monitor their symptoms. Results showed that both groups had improvement in depressive symptoms after three months, the researchers said.

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MRI analysis found that GABA levels after three months of yoga were elevated (as compared to prior to starting yoga) for approximately four days after the last yoga session but the increase was no longer observed after approximately eight days.

“A unique strength of this study is that pairing the yoga intervention with brain imaging provides important neurobiological insight as to the ‘how’ yoga may help to alleviate depression and anxiety,” said study co-author Marisa Silveri. (IANS)