Yoga may help reduce depression symptoms, says study

Depression is a serious mental disorder that has become increasingly common in the U.S. As awareness about mental illnesses is spreading more people are reaching out for treatmentor trying alternative therapies or methods to manage their symptoms.

While the treatment for depression often consists of medication and psychotherapy, a newstudy by the Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) has suggested that yoga-based interventions can serve as an alternative to pharmacologic treatments for MDD. The goal of the study,published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on March 1, 2017,was to examine the effects of Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing at five breaths per minute on symptoms of depression.

The researchalso aimed to determine the optimal dosage of yoga for future studies in individuals with MDD. The study involved participants aged 18 to 64 years who were either not on antidepressant medications or were on a stable dose of antidepressants for three or more months.

For a period of 12weeks, the participants were randomized to a high-dose group (HDG) with three intervention classes per week and a low-dose group (LDG) with two intervention classes a week. The intervention included 90-minute classes plus 30-minute homework per week. The 90-minute class consisted of about 60 minutes of yoga postures and 10 minutes of transition that included savasana (deep relaxation), followed by 20 minutes of coherent breathing.

Major breakthrough for MDD treatment

After the 12-week intervention period, researchers found that yoga and coherent breathing resulted in a decrease in depressive symptoms in both the groups. The researchers also noted comparable compliance and clinical improvements among both LDG and HDG with participants in the HDG testing higher in clinical improvements.

The researchers concluded that the study supports the intervention of yoga and coherent breathing techniques among those affected with MDD whether they are on a stable dose of antidepressants, are not on antidepressants and even those who have not achieved a resolution for their depressive symptoms. The authors hoped that the findings might help ease MDD symptoms without the negative side effects of pharmaceutical treatmentssince practicing yoga doesnot have unpleasant reactions or any adverse effects.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), factors that prevent people from getting the right treatment include stigma, untrained medical professionals and wrong diagnosis.In such a scenario, the latest study may help individuals with major depression who do not seek treatment due to social stigma.

Depression is like any other ailment

Depression is like other common ailments such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which require timely intervention and proper treatment. If left untreated, depression can ruin one’s life. According to the WHO, among the various mental and behavioral disorders, major depression carries the heaviest burden of disability.So, if a person is suffering from depression, he/she should immediately seek professional assistance.

For those suffering from any kind of mental disorder, it is imperative to get timely diagnoses and treatment. Get in touch with experts at the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to find the best mental health counseling programs for your disorder. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our experts to know about the best mental health rehabilitation centers in the U.S.