Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yoga for Depression

Confirmation bias? Truth? Your choice. But, here is further research based evidence that yoga is an effective treatment for depression and it is perhaps even more revealing in that, "preliminary findings of [a] three-year study show a combination of yoga and meditation lowered depression in patients, as opposed to meditation alone."

The news came out of the Hindustan Times earlier today. The reported study showed that an hour of yoga three times per week boosted mood and immunity for people undergoing treatment for depression. They also report on a parallel two-year study that showed that yoga helps caregivers of those suffering from mental health problems cope with the stress of looking after a mentally ill patient.

What's the proof? It seems to be based on clinical evaluations of self-declarations on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. My guess is that it's hard to control for the positive effect that time alone might have on depression assessment and I wonder whether they found a way to differentiate yoga from exercise in general, but regardless, I still find it interesting enough to report. The fact that they are even researching the effect of yoga on mental health sounds good enough to me and it confirms nicely my own truth that movement and exercise have a lot to do with happiness and health.

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