by Melissa Green June 28, 2019 2 min read

How Yoga Can Improve Your Wellness

Yoga relieves aches and pains, improves flexibility, balance and posture, builds muscle and strength, improves depression and anxiety, enhances alertness and positive feelings, improves cardiovascular health and aids in the regulation of blood glucose levels.

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Medical Yoga Therapy is the supervised practice of a certified trained therapist in yoga for the prevention and recovery of various chronic conditions.

1. Hypothesis that Yoga can improve cardiovascular health by reducing hypertension, heart rate and balancing blood glucose levels, via stimulating the parasympathetic system. I state that this is a hypothesis due to lack of strong evidence in clinical studies. However at the bottom of this page is a simple algorithm of events that can occur within the body to support this theory.

2. Yoga relieves anxiety with the practice of meditation, breathing techniques and distractions which involve the mindfulness and concentration of yoga poses, and assists with coping strategies of emotional triggers.

3. Yoga eliminates excessive stress. A few clinical studies have shown the relationship between yoga and the increased function of neurotransmitters and hormones particularly in areas that control emotions, executive functioning and sleep/wake cycles. 

4. Yoga has been effective along side other treatment algorithms in traumatic cases. Trauma sensitive yoga treatmentsprovide support in healing and recovery for people with traumatic illnesses.

5. Yoga has been proven in clinical trials to be an added treatment in the recovery from low back pain.

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 While treating depression alongside pharmacological treatments, trials showed a modest result in short term benefits.

🧘‍♂️It is important to note that research in yoga showed in some studies that there were small sample sizes, inadequate controls and large bias. 

🧘‍♂️ Excessive stress>> increased cortisol>> metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates>>converted to glucose>> raised blood glucose levels, immune system suppressed, retention of sodium and water>> increases blood pressure.

🧘‍♂️If you decide to start Yoga, as with any exercise regime, please discuss this with your Medical Officer. Hopefully in the near future, funding and participants may be available for more rigorous clinical trials in yoga.

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Pascoe, M.C 2015. Doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires2015.07.013
Stephens, I 2017. Doi: .org/10.3390/children4020012

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