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Reduce Stress Chemicals: Get Your Inner Yoga Thriving and Benefit Your Body

Thursday, September 23, 2010 by: Christine Roberts
Tags: yoga, stress reduction, health news

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(NewsTarget) A study performed at the Ohio State University has found that a nightly dose of practicing yoga has had a positive impact on the health of 50 women around the age of 41. This study and many others of its kind continue to prove the health benefits of taking the time to do daily mind-body techniques which can be relaxing and balancing. Some of the health benefits found during the study were that a daily practice of yoga encouraged the women in the study to have lower amounts of the stress marker cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood. High concentrations of IL-6 in the blood are known to contribute to accelerated aging, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and type two diabetes.

The research team that facilitated the study had the fifty women divide into two groups. One group was of women that had practiced yoga a dozen times or less ever. The other group was considered fluent with a couple years experience and had practiced at least twice weekly in the past year prior to the study. Both groups then took part in a series of 3 part practice sessions. The participants began each session by filling out questionnaires and psychological tests to determine their anxiety levels and mood. Then they did tasks that would increase their stress levels like submerging their feet in cold water and then attempting to answer a series of math questions off the top off their heads. Following the stress tests participants would either do a yoga session or watch a boring somewhat neutral movie acting as a contrast. After the study blood samples were collected and it was determined that the novice group had pro IL-6 levels in their blood compared to the fluent group. It was also found that when the groups of women were under stress the long term yoga practitioners managed themselves better.

Additional studies on yoga have found that practicing mindful daily actions and awareness can increase disease fighting genes and encourage what researchers call the relaxation effect. One study at Harvard found that after two months of daily mindful body work the participants had reduced stress chemicals like adrenalin, cortisol, and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood. The deep breathing, focus and mindfulness found in the practice of yoga encourage the brain to send a message to the body to increase feel good chemicals like serotonin and naturally increase human growth hormones that repair cells and tissue.

Dr. Ron Glaser a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics who contributed to the Ohio yoga study said: "We know that inflammation plays a major role in many diseases, yoga appears to be a simple and enjoyable way to add an intervention that might reduce risks for developing heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases. This is an easy thing people can do to help reduce their risks of illness."

Yoga by definition is to discipline oneself in order to gain control over forces of one's own being. These studies have shed light on the benefits that come from the discipline, awareness and mindfulness of practicing yoga daily.




About the author

Christine Roberts is a certified Natural Health Consultant who enjoys yoga, healing arts, heirloom gardening and writing. She provides resources, inspiration and support to those seeking holistic guidence. She offers help in person as well as through her online site http://www.holisticambtions.com in a means to encourage everyone to live their best lives naturally. She also works full time as an eco friendly cleaning technician.

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