(NaturalNews) Yoga has long been known for having healing powers. Recently Yoga has begun to be used as a treatment to aid in healing those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Practitioners of Yoga claim that it aids them in feeling grounded and in the present, gaining awareness of their bodies and the strength of their bodies, feeling calmer, and being in control of their thoughts. Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatry professor at Boston University School of Medicine was involved in a recent study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. This study showed that Yoga can aid in PTSD recovery. In this study a group of female patients suffering from PTSD were taught Hatha Yoga in eight sessions while another group of female patients underwent eight sessions of group therapy. Those who finished the Yoga training showed a substantial improvement in symptoms such as "the frequency of intrusive thoughts and the severity of jangled nerves" in comparison to those who underwent group therapy. Van der Kolk had the following to say about the relationship which Yoga can play on aiding PTSD suffers, "The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human organism. I don't think you can overcome it unless you learn to have a friendly relationship with your body."
One of the benefits of Yoga practice is that it can aid in toning down maladaptive nervous system arousal which helps in reducing perceived stress. Because of this effect Yoga could be helpful especially in patients suffering from PTSD
. One randomized study followed a group of disabled Australian Vietnam veterans who were diagnosed with severe PTSD. A group of patients underwent a five day course which taught them "breathing techniques, yoga
asanas, education about stress reduction, and guided meditation" and a control group received no education. By six weeks into the study the group that had received the education on yoga had decreased from moderate to severe PTSD scores to mild to moderate PTSD scores while the control group scores remained the same. Recently the United States Army has committed to spend $4 million dollars in research to find ways to aid veterans suffering from PTSD. This research will including looking into such things as "spiritual ministry, transcendental meditation, [and] Yoga" and "bioenergies such as Qi gong, Reiki, [and] distant healing."
Yoga appears to be a natural and safe way for people suffering from PTSD and other stress
and anxiety related disorders to help reduce symptoms allowing them to live more normal lives.
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Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
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