The South Asian Times

25 September 2017 23:33 PM

Harvard-Columbia researchers find yoga can reduce depression

New York: Columbia and Harvard researchers find yoga and controlled breathing reduce depressive symptoms, according to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine which has published this study on March 1.

 This randomized controlled dosing study “Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder with Iyengar Yoga and Coherent Breathing” claims to provide evidence that participation in an intervention composed of Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing is associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). It also included researchers from Boston University, Boston Medical, McLean Hospital, ENRM Veterans Hospital, New York Medical, Biostatistical Solutions, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

This published article states that during this 12-week intervention of yoga plus coherent breathing, depressive symptoms declined significantly in patients with MDD. This study supports the use of an Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing intervention as a treatment to alleviate depressive symptoms in MDD.  

This article points out that MDD is common, recurrent, chronic, and disabling. Depression is globally responsible for more years lost to disability than any other disease. Up to 50% of individuals treated with antidepressant medications for MDD do not achieve full remission. Yoga-based therapies offer promise.

According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image.

Update: 20 March, 2017

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