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Alternative Medicine News: Doing Yoga Twice A Week, Continuing Practice At Home Helps Lessen Symptoms Of Depression

Update Date: Mar 05, 2017 07:15 PM EST

As more and more people are shifting to living a more organic and healthy lifestyle, the practice of yoga has experienced a renewed popularity in the modern society. In fact, the practice of yoga goes beyond how it can help achieve physical fitness of an individual and into alternative medicine. A recent study has shown that doing yoga twice a week and continuing to practice at home helps lessen the symptoms of depression.

The study, conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, was able to show the effectivity of practicing yoga to significantly reduce the symptoms of depression. What's more, the researchers are seeing the potential of using yoga-based interventions not only as an alternative medical practice but also as an effective supplement to pharmacological treatments of depression.

According to the data collected by the researchers, depression has affected more people in a year globally compared to any other diseases or disorders. Specifically, more people are reported to be suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).

Major depressive disorder is a type of depression that is not only common but also chronic, recurrent, and disabling. Around 40 percent of individuals diagnosed with MDD are reporting the failure of anti-depressant medicines to achieve a full remission from MDD.

In order to assess the potential benefits and effectivity of practicing yoga to curb the symptoms of depression, the study had participants randomly assigned to two types of yoga practices. The first group was assigned to a high-dose yoga class wherein the participants are required to do three 90-minute yoga sessions plus home practice per week. The second group was assigned to a low-dose yoga class where the participants are required to do two 90-minute yoga sessions plus home practice per week.

The results of the study, reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that doing yoga, in this case, Iyengar yoga, help reduce the symptoms of depression in the participants. Specifically, the researchers found that regardless whether how intense the dose of the yoga sessions per week, it helped curb the symptoms of depression.

The researchers do suggest that instead of doing the high-dose yoga classes, it is more practical for people, even those not suffering from depression, to practice two 90-minute yoga sessions plus home practice weekly. Not only will it help people achieve physical fitness but also reap effective mood benefits thanks to the yoga practices.

The study was able to demonstrate the effectivity of the practice of yoga and other breathing interventions as an alternative and/or supplemental treatment to people suffering from depression. As doing yoga help reduce the symptoms of depression, the researchers are seeing the reduction of the number of doses of anti-depressant medicines people are taking thereby also reducing the possible side effects of such medicines.

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