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Yoga for Anxiety and Mood Disorders – A look at the Research

Did you know……

1 out of every 3 Canadians will be affected by anxiety and/or mood disorders

Child and adolescent incidents on the rise!

$51 Billion/year spent on Mental Health in Canada (2011 Conference Board of Canada)

2009 Harvard Mental Health Reports Yoga Helps:

Bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia ? after 1 yoga participants reported average levels of tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue dropped significantly. ?Patients who chose to participate in additional classes experienced similar short-term positive effects (2005 Descriptive Study conducted at New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital; sited in 2009 Harvard Mental Health)

Depression ? after 30 minutes of breathing, done 6 days a week, 75% participants reported decrease of depression symptoms and decrease in stress hormones (cortisol and corticotrophin). (Research at Mental health center in Bangalore, India ?Treated depression in alcoholic men)

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after 5 day course (breathing, asana, stress management reduction techniques, guided meditation), participants reported lower CAPS (Clinical Administered PTSD Scale) scores 6 weeks later. Experts treating this population suggest that yoga can be a useful addition to the treatment program (Disabled Australian Vietnam veterans).

Dr. Kristie Gore, a psychologist and Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., are offering a yogic method of deep relaxation to veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military hopes that yoga-based treatments will be more acceptable to the soldiers and less stigmatizing than traditional psychotherapy.

In Canada, Researchers found, yoga helps:

Schizophrenia, anxiety, and other serious mood disorders ? after 1 hour of yoga (breathing and asana) for 10 weeks, participants reported consistently after every class a decrease in symptoms related to their mood disorder and anxiety, less pain, less fatigue and sleepiness. (In association with Diabetes Prevention Program in Schizophrenia and research by Dr. Voruganti, MD, Mc Master University. Due to the great results, this program has been adopted by Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health as their Wellness Program).Reference: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00182494

YOGA can…

i) Improve Mental Health?Mood and Concentration

Yoga techniques such a pranyama(breath), asana (poses) and meditation assists people to concentrate and quiet the ?chatter? in the mind.

ii) Improve Physical Health

Yoga lowers blood pressure and slow the heart rate. Dr.Dean Ornish, MD. created reversing heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery.

Yoga has also been proven to boost immune system function, aids with reliving symptoms of?chronic?fatigue, fibromyalgia, back pain, arthritis, insomnia, lymphodema, respiratory (i.e.?CF, COPD, asthma), etc.

Yoga can help to improve your flexibility, strength, alignment, and body awareness resulting in better posture.

iii) Assist with Pain Management

Yoga has been proven to decrease pain.?Dr. Kabat Zinn has published research articles and books over last 20yrs.

2008 University of Utah Study – yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance

2010 Oregon Health & Science University researched? yoga and fibromyalgia (a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain) Participants reported yoga assisted in combating a number of serious fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, fatigue, stiffness, poor sleep, depression, poor memory, anxiety and poor balance. (ScienceDaily.com)

iv) Aid with Recovery and over all Wellness

This can be validated by the participants of?Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health Wellness Program; just read below to see what participants say. ?This programs connects people living with Mental Health with a wide range of Wellness Programs including Yoga. To find out more contact?Gayle Parker, RN, BScN, CDE,?Lead-Wellness Program.?Tel?(519) 742-3191 Ext. 248 Email:gparker@waterlooregionalhomes.com

Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health Wellness Program Participants write…..

Doing yoga in a group helped me to build a sense of belonging.? I also have someone else to look at to see if I?m doing the right poses correctly.? I actually tried doing yoga at home a few years ago.? With out an instructor I wasn?t sure if I was doing the moves right and if I was holding them long enough.? When I joined Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health Wellness Program (formerly People in Motion) I did yoga with Jayne.? It?s great to do yoga in a studio.? You don?t get interrupted.

Before ?yoga with Jayne I was sleeping thirteen hours a night.? I was tired all the time and I didn?t have a lot of energy.? I?m dealing with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and my medication does this to me.? Yoga has woken me up.? I?m more alert.? I?m now sleeping less. ?I have a lot more energy now and I like to keep active.

I?m now training to walk in my 2nd half marathon.? I power walk to keep in shape and to train for the walk.? I am do yoga again with my Mom.? We?re doing partner yoga as well as some traditional yoga.? I?m really enjoying the experience.? Once again Jayne is my instructor.? Yoga has become part of my recovery.? Part of my journey towards better mental health.? Part of my healthy life style. ? Please try yoga.? The deep breathing is great.? It?s made a world of difference for me.~Robert

Yoga helped me have more peace of mind and feel calmer. I felt less tense and less tight after the class. Jayne always made a point of finding out everyone’s individual needs and would provide alternative suggestions?for positions I found more difficult.” ? ~Monica

Yoga helped decrease the constant pain and discomfort of my fibromyalgai and decrease the frequency of symptoms of my mood disorder

Yoga helped me so much. I feel I can do more, make better choices.”

I am a big guy and told I would never be able to sit on the floor; now after doing chair yoga with Jayne, I can sit on the floor to do yoga.”

Walk for Mental Health on Sunday, September 23, 2012?with my family and me at Waterloo Town Square. It will be the 5th Annual?Minds in Motion KW Walking Classic.? You can walk 5km, 10km or half marathon for Mental Health. For more information visit?http://www.kwwalkingclassic.com

What do you think of this post?

Adapted from Jayne Hembruff’s Jan 24, 2012?Kitchener?Public Library Community Presentation.?The room was filled to capacity for the second year and we regrettable had to turn away people.

? 2012 Jayne Hembruff & InnovativeWellness.ca