Yoga Studies

Clinical Studies (Yoga)

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    University of Rochester Clinical Oncology Study 2010

    Although health insurers don't currently reimburse individuals for yoga and meditation instruction, mounting clinical evidence may convince insurers that these mind/body practices provide significant therapeutic benefits in the treatment of chronic disease. In a recent 410-participant study reported by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, hatha yoga stretching and breathing exercises improved sleep, reduced dependence on sedatives and helped cancer patients resume their routine activities. "Clinicians should now feel pretty comfortable prescribing gentle hatha yoga or restorative yoga for their patients," said Karen Mustian, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "The data from this study is one of the first steps in the direction toward insurance coverage." In the Rochester study, half of the patients were assigned to yoga classes twice a week for one month. By the end of the trial, 31 percent of yoga patients no longer had sleep disruptions, twice the recovery rate of patients who didn't take classes. Yoga practitioners also reported a 42 percent reduction in fatigue, compared with a 12 percent reduction for the control group. Yoga users decreased the use of sleep medication by 21 percent, while the control group actually increased reliance on sleeping drugs by 5 percent.
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    The Yoga of Sex 2009

    A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who practiced hatha yoga reported improvements in their sexual relationships. Mindfulness played a key role in the study, which also cited research that found yoga to be beneficial in the sex lives of men as well. Have you noticed any changes in habit patterns since you began practicing yoga?
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    Fibromyalgia and Arthritis 2008

    A new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, recommends regular, moderate exercise such as walking, strength training, and Hatha Yoga to alleviate pain caused by fibromyalgia and arthritis. The study observed 135 women exercising three times a week for four months, initially for 30 minutes and increasing to 60 minutes. Pain was reduced by 45 percent after 16 weeks.
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    Help for the Blind 2008

    Nancy Portuga Jamello teaches Hatha Yoga to teenage students at the California School for the Blind in Fremont. Many of the students slouch because the constant fear of running into objects and losing their balance can produce an over-arching spine. Yoga gives them the chance not only to work on their posture and balance, but also to get helpful exercise without worrying about the space around them. "Although the students can't necessarily play a sport or go for a run in the park, they can benefit from the Yoga postures," Jamello told The Mercury News.
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    Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief 2008

    A recent pilot study in the Arab Emirates revealed that as little as 12 sessions of meditation and hatha yoga significantly improved the conditions of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Out of a total of 47 patients enrolled in the study, 26 undertook Yoga sessions, while a control group of 21 remained on regular treatment. Some patients in the yoga group were able to decrease or discontinue RA medications. The study was funded by the Emirates Arthritis Foundation.
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    Yoga Aids Diabetics 2008

    The Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice reports that new Swedish and Indian studies show that Yoga Science can reverse high blood pressure, obesity, and high blood sugar. In the study triglycerides were significantly lower and "good" HDL cholesterol levels were higher in the Yoga group as compared to a control group.
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    Yoga Science Helpful and Healthy During Pregnancy 2007

    In a recent article on newindpress.com, Dr. Sejal Shah, M.D. states that a consistent Yoga Science practice can produce a healthier maternal environment for pregnancy and a significantly gentler and more harmonious birthing experience for both mother and child. Easy-gentle yoga stimulates the reproductive organs to ensure a relatively easy childbirth, ensures optimum blood supply and nutrients to the developing fetus, enhances correct posture, establishes balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic system, improves blood circulation, tones the muscles of spine, abdomen and pelvis, which help to support the added weight of the uterus, and prevents common ailments such as backache, leg cramps, breathlessness and edema in the feet. Pranayama (breath work) ensures the abundant supply of oxygen and prana (life force) for both mother and child. It induces tranquility and a feeling of wellbeing. It tunes up the nervous system, improves emotional stability, helps to eliminate anxiety, relieves insomnia, high blood pressure and breathlessness, while improving breathing capacity, stamina and vitality---promoting an easy delivery with minimum distress and fatigue. Meditation provides the necessary insight, will power and discrimination for making sound lifestyle choices during and after pregnancy. As a therapeutic tool, meditation helps resolve neuroses, fears and conflicts common during pregnancy.
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    Reducing Anxiety and Depression 2007

    Researchers from the Boston University Medical School have found that a regular yoga practice may increase levels of certain brain substances, low levels of which are linked to depression and anxiety. Currently, pharmaceutical treatment of mood disorders elevates the level of neurotransmitters called gamma-aminobutyric (GABA). The new findings, appearing in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, suggest that Yoga Science be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety disorders associated with low GABA levels.
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    Reducing Eye Strain 2007

    A recent study published in Head & Face Medicine, London, England showed that computer workers who practiced Yoga for 60 days reported experiencing improved visual comfort and reduced "dry eye." Previous research also has shown the effectiveness of Yoga in reducing eyestrain among people with progressive nearsightedness.
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    Prenatal Study 2007

    A new study conducted by the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in India indicates that a daily yoga and meditation practice during a woman's pregnancy seems to improve birth weight, and reduce prematurity and reduce overall medical complications for newborn babies.
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    Yoga Science Helps Breast Cancer Patients 2006

    In one of the first studies of its kind, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas has announced that women going through treatment for breast cancer felt better when they practiced yoga. "Our belief is that something as simple and brief as a short (yoga) program would be very useful," at combating side effects from cancer treatment, said Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, a psychologist who led the pilot study. Yoga incorporates meditation, controlled breathing, imagery, stretching, relaxation and physical movements. According to study participant and breast cancer patient Teresita Ladrillo, "There's something to be said for being still." The National Cancer Institute recently awarded M.D. Anderson a $2.4 million grant to study the effects of Tibetan yoga on women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
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    Reducing Hospital Visits 2006

    The Maharishi University reports that mantra meditation (TM) reduces hospitalization rates. Compared to the national average, for the 2000 meditating patients observed in the study, there was 87% less hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, 55% less for cancer, 87% less for nervous system diseases and 73% less for nose, throat, and lung problems.
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    Listening to Your Body 2005

    A study in the Psychology of Women Quarterly reports that daily yogic exercise produces greater body satisfaction and fewer symptoms of eating disorders than traditional aerobic exercise like jogging or using cardio machines. In yoga class, individuals develop sensitivity to bodily sensations and learn how to listen to their body's feedback.
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    Yoga and Weight Loss 2005

    According to WebMD, a new research study shows that adults of normal weight (ages 45 to 55) who practiced yoga regularly gained an average of 3 pounds less than those who didn't practice yoga. Meanwhile, overweight adults who practiced yoga lost an average of 5 pounds, while those who didn't, gained about 14 pounds during the same time period.
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    Yoga and the Lymph System 2004

    According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiac surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital, a regular practice of yoga can massage the lymph system. Lymph is the body's dirty dishwater. A network of lymphatic vessels and storage sacs crisscross the entire body, in parallel with the blood supply, carrying a fluid composed of infection-fighting white blood cells and the waste products of cellular activity. Daily yoga, like AMI's Easy-Gentle Yoga, activates the flow of lymph through the body, speeds up the filtering process and promotes efficient drainage of the lymph.
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    Yoga and Meditation in Hospitals 2004

    According to the Chicago Daily Herald, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois, regularly uses both meditation and hatha yoga to accelerate patient recovery. Under the guidance of Dr. Gouri Chaudhuri, stroke patients who meditate have shortened their hospital stay by four days and reduced sleep medication by 45 percent. Functions such as bladder control, speech and muscle movement also improved.

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