Study: Yoga (2012) Decreases Inflammation



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In a randomized, controlled trial, researchers looked at the biological mechanisms responsible for effects such as stress reduction, which have been well documented.

Researchers studied caregivers for dementia patients who did 12 minutes of yoga daily for 8 weeks compared to a control group who listened to relaxing music for the same time period. About 16% of caregivers begin to themselves have health problems after they begin to spend the time, attention and energy to care for someone else.

The scientists found in the yoga participants a change in 68 gene responses including adjustments for caregiver burden, sex, and body mass index. These changes manifested as reduced inflammation - a common symptom/issue for patients with depression, heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Editor's Note: This particular study looked at subjects performing Kirtan Kriya yoga, but any form of classic yoga, involving a variety of postures which give movement and enhance energy flow to all parts of the body will yield similar results. With respect to vision, inflammation is a major issue in diabetic retinopathy, optic neuritis (swollen optic nerve), and macular edema.

Researchers: Black, Cole, Irwin, Breen, St. Cyr, Nazarian, Shalsa, Lavretsky, University of California.

Published: Psychoneuroendocrinology, July 14, 2012 (online)