Can Yoga Improve Your Health?

Can Yoga Improve Your Health?
[This blog post was written by Dr. Mia Finkelston, a doctor on Amwell.]

“Why not try some Yoga?”  This sentence is being used more frequently by many doctors in conversations with their patients. Mind-body classes or practice at home has been linked with many health benefits.  Doctors from all specialties seem to be recommending it more and more. In fact, there is a wealth of scientific research getting published to support their suggestions!

Yoga instructors tell us that when energy becomes blocked in a Chakra- a vortex of energy- it can trigger physical, mental or emotional imbalances that can cause symptoms such as irritability, palpitations, sweating, feeling depressed, tearful, and lethargic and can cause you to suffer from constipation or diarrhea. These symptoms lead to actual diagnoses of anxiety, depression, irritable bowel disease or exhaustion. First, you must tune to how you are feeling, and then you can look or ask for poses that help counteract the imbalance.

A small but compelling study from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2013 showed that practicing yoga, whether on antidepressant medication or not, reduced the clinical severity of depressive symptoms better than those groups on medication alone. Further studies show that there is a decrease in the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol levels in people who practice yoga daily at home after 3 months, are significantly proven to be less than those who don’t practice yoga at all.  These findings support the idea that yoga may act at the level of the hypothalamus by its “anti-stress” effect to bring about relief of depressive symptoms (fatigue, feeling depressed, lack of energy, loss of interest in things you normally enjoyed).

Whether it can be proven and reproduced in studies or not, there are small studies revealing that in outpatient depressives who are not suicidal, yoga is a terrific and safe recommendation.  Be sure to keep your ear and mind open for more information on this subject in the future!

If you are feeling blue, or lacking motivation, drop into a down dog or 2 and call me in the morning for some more yoga tips.

Now is the time to try online!

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