Yoga for anxiety
Study shows that yoga can benefit those prone to anxiety, nervousness and worry.
Yoga for anxiety. A recent study in the USA has shown that yoga can have positive benefits for sufferers of generalised anxiety disorder. It noted that yoga improves symptoms of the condition, which can include chronic nervousness and worry. Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study found that yoga was significantly more effective for generalised anxiety disorder than standard education on stress management. It nonetheless hailed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as the ‘gold standard’ form of structured talk therapy that helps patients identify negative thinking and to improve better responses to challenges. “Generalised anxiety disorder is a very common condition, yet many are not willing or able to access evidence-based treatments,” said lead study author Naomi M. Simon, MD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. “Our findings demonstrate that yoga, which is safe and widely available, can improve symptoms for some people with this disorder and could be a valuable tool in an overall treatment plan.”
For the study, 226 men and women with generalised anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to three groups: either CBT, Kundalini Yoga, or stressmanagement education, a standardised control technique. The Kundalini Yoga included physical postures, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, yoga theory, and meditation and mindfulness practices. After three months, both CBT and yoga were found to be significantly more effective. Some 54% of those who practiced yoga met response criteria showing meaningfully improved symptoms. After six months of follow-up, the findings reported that CBT showed more robust, longer-lasting anxiety-reducing effects. “Many people already seek complementary and alternative interventions, including yoga, to treat anxiety,” added Dr Simon. “This study suggests that at least short-term there is significant value for people with generalised anxiety disorder to give yoga a try to see if it works for them. Yoga is well-tolerated, easily accessible, and has a number of health benefits.”
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