Yoga therapy: the science
Yoga: a safe and effective therapy in alleviating menopause symptoms
A recent study conducted by a renowned institute suggested that yoga therapy can alleviate menopausal symptoms and enhance quality of life. In a secondary analysis of a controlled trial in comparing the effects of yoga on 40 breast cancer survivors who suffered from menopausal symptoms, attendees scored a significant improvement. These included improvements in psychological and urogenital menopausal symptoms, as well as enhanced quality of life, social, emotional and functional wellbeing and fatigue in comparison to a control group.
“Self-esteem plays a vital role in the beneficial effect of yoga… yoga can have long-term benefits for women diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing menopausal transition,” noted Dr. Koch AK, the lead author.
Furthermore, in the compared study to test the effects of a 12-week traditional Hatha Yoga and meditation intervention on menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors, yoga and meditation showed a Yoga: a safe and effective therapy in alleviating menopause symptoms significant improvement in lowering total menopausal symptoms compared with the other care group.
With these promising results, some researchers have suggested that yoga can be considered as a safe and effective alternative intervention in ameliorated menopausal symptoms with a persistence of at least three months.
In fact, yoga intervention also has positive and specific implications on menopausal symptoms’ frequency, according to the 37 disease-free women experiencing hot flashes randomised to an eight-week Yoga of Awareness programme (gentle yoga poses, meditation, and breathing exercises).
The yoga group expressed a significantly greater improvement in hot flash frequency, severity, and total scores and in levels of joint pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, symptom-related bother, and vigour in posttreatment, compared to a control group.
More importantly, at three months follow-up, patients in the yoga group also maintained the improvement in hot flashes, joint pain, fatigue, symptom-related bother, and vigour but also showed additional significant gains in terms of negative mood, relaxation, and acceptance in post-treatment.
Taken together, it suggests that participation in yoga classes may be one of the safest and most effective interventions in attenuated menopause symptoms.
(1) The effects of yoga and self-esteem on menopausal symptoms and quality of life in breast cancer survivors. A secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial by Koch AK1, Rabsilber S2, Lauche R3, Kümmel S4, Dobos G5, Langhorst J6, Cramer H3.(PubMed)
(2) Yoga and meditation for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors. A randomised controlled trial by Cramer H1,2, Rabsilber S3,4, Lauche R1,2, Kümmel S4, Dobos G1(PubMed).
Claudia Brown would like to thank Dr Louise Newson for providing all the medical advice on the menopause / HRT / alternatives to HRT for this article. Visit her website: menopausedoctor.co.uk for information on all things menopause for you and your GP.