Yoga therapy offers hope to depression patients

Yoga therapy offers hope  to depression patients

Patients suffering from depression show marked improvement in their condition when they are put on yoga therapy, besides taking their medicines regularly, a study conducted by the Bengaluru-based National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) Advanced Centre for Yoga has revealed.

The study conducted on patients referred to the Centre found that Cortisol, a stress hormone present in high levels in patients with depression, reduced considerably after they were put on yoga therapy.

Dr Gangadhar, Dean, Behavioural Sciences, Nimhans, said, “We considered patients in three categories for the study. Ones who took medicine, ones with mild depression who only took toga therapy, and those who did both. It was found that those who practised yoga, along with medication, showed better results than those who only took medication.”

Post-yoga therapy, patients also showed an increase in the brain-derived neurotropic factor that aids growth and survival of nerve cells.

The Advanced Centre for Yoga has also conducted a research on the effects of yoga in children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder and in patients suffering from epilepsy and schizophrenia.

The centre function from Nimhans campus and has two trained yoga therapists, a psychiatrist to monitor patient behaviour during the sessions, and a yoga expert.

“We have group sessions where generic modules of yoga are followed. In a few cases, where need be, therapy is offered on an individual basis,” said Dr Gangadhar.

The centre, which earlier saw five to six patients a week, now sees over six cases each day. Dr Vinod, junior scientific officer, said apart from psychiatric ailments such as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety, therapy was offered to patients who were on stroke rehabilitation, back and neck pain and mood disorders.

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