Yoga treating anxiety, stress and depression

Tuesday 18th August, 2009

Yoga therapy is being offered to NHS patients who are seeking treatment for anxiety, stress and depression.

A number of hospitals in London are using yoga therapy as an alternative to antidepressant drugs for patients who are wary of the side effects of medication.

Mental health charities are seeing a huge increase in people seeking help for stress and depression and many sufferers are turning to alternative ways to deal with the problem.

Yoga therapy encourages the mind to reconnect with the body and a recent study from the US suggests that yoga improves negative symptoms experienced by people with chronic schizophrenia.

In the UK, many doctors and psychiatrists are referring patients for yoga therapy. Yoga postures and breathing exercises help to increase heart rate and control breathing recreating the conditions that occur when feeling stressed. This allows the individual to exert some control over what is an involuntary response. Patients can then apply the skills during times of anxiety or stress.

Yoga therapy addresses both physiological changes and thought patterns which occur when stressed and provides a holistic cure to the problem. Breathing properly alters the biochemistry of the brain and postures place the body under physical stress. Awareness of both helps with relaxation.



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