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Week Six in our Wednesday post-swap with NaturalPath.

More evidence that yoga helps ward off the blues.

A new study concludes that Yoga may significantly help those experiencing anxiety and depression. The study reported in the May issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine was performed by Boston scientists who used MRIs to gauge levels of GABA in the brains of both yoga practitioners and non-practitioners.

Brain scans of yoga practitioners who participated in the study showed an average of a 27% increase in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) immediately after a one-hour yoga session. Low levels of GABA are associated with anxiety and depression.

According to researchers, this is the first study to show that yoga may correlate with a significant change in the level of a major neurotransmitter. If substantiated, yoga could become a useful tool to help those battling anxiety disorder and depression.

Brain scans were taken before the beginning of the experiment. Then, the yoga group was asked to engage in the meditative practice for 60 minutes, while the non-yoga group simply read.

Major schools of yoga practised were represented in the study including ashtanga, bikram, hatha, and vinyasa.

See Naturalpath’s Guide: Information on Anxiety Disorder and Depression.

It should be noted that all of the people in the study were mentally healthy without major psychiatric conditions and clinical depression and anxiety disorders involve more than normal levels of stress and tension. The study also didn’t measure for other neurotransmitters that have been correlated with depression, such as serotonin.

For Further Information:
See Naturalpath’s Guide: Information on Anxiety Disorder and Depression.

May 2007, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Abstract)
Medicine.Net: Yoga May Treat Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Naturalpath Articles and Blogs Related to Yoga As A Preventative and Treatment for Depression:
Natural Remedies for Depression
Exercise Reduces Depression

contribution by: NaturalPath, bridging the gap between integrative health and sustainable living through community interaction. To view the original post, simply click here.