Science is a science. Yoga is…
A review of more than one hundred studies looking at 16 different different high-quality controlled studies focusing on the effects of yoga on depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, sleep complaints, eating disorders and cognition problems has concluded with positive results. Yay.
Yoga gets a lot of hype. Can it live up to it? And science?
“…yoga has become such a cultural phenomenon that it has become difficult for physicians and patients to differentiate legitimate claims from hype,” wrote the authors in their study. “Our goal was to examine whether the evidence matched the promise.”
Published in the open-access journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, on January 25th, 2013, the review showed yoga to be “highly promising” as complimentary care to medication without the negative side effects.
Even more neato, evidence suggests that “yoga influences key elements of the human body thought to play a role in mental health in similar ways to that of antidepressants and psychotherapy.” One study acually found that (nerd alert) yoga affects neurotransmitters, inflammation, oxidative stress, lipids, growth factors and second messengers. Neat. O.
For this particular review there was limited or conflicting results with eating and cognition disorders and for those with severe depression versus mild depression (also, in the depression study the social interaction seemed to be a bonus and therefore “unscientific” for yoga study purposes), but overall, yoga helped improve sleep, reducing the need for sleep meds, and reduced depression scores. On top of that, yoga was found to not only help to improve symptoms, but it may also play an additional role in preventing stress-related mental illnesses. Now that’s a side effect we can live with.
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