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Monthly Archives February 2014

Yoga Therapy Proves Helpful for Eating Disorders

In a randomized controlled clinical trial of yoga in the treatment of eating disorders at Seattle Children’s Medicine Department, yoga therapy demonstrated a significant ability to improve eating disorders when used along with standard care.

Ah finally! A clinical trial providing evidence that Yoga practice can help with eating disorders. In this study participants ad 2 lessons per week with a viniyoga instructor. Viniyoga incorporates movement and breath (among other things) combining asana and pranayama practice. This is the approach we have been taking in our Peaceful Weight Loss through Yoga program with great results.

Addressing underlying anxiety and/or depression issues is a key factor when working with eating disorders. In this study, there was a clear lessening of these factors. 

Again, if they outlined the practices in the reporting of these studies it would be helpful. The connecting of the breath to body, so that the thoughts will have less power is key here. I’m fairly sure that other non-similar yoga styles wouldn’t have the same effect.

This study is useful. We need more to convince the uninitiated that yoga therapy is useful for this population and people suffering from other mental conditions.

Yoga and Back Pain

back-pain-yoga748x319I read this today:

“Recommendations by the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society point to yoga as a possible non-drug treatment for lower back pain. In addition, a recent meta-analysis by Cramer et al out of the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany concluded that yoga should be recommended as a complementary therapy to deal with chronic lower back pain.”

Wow – it’s amazing. 20 years ago this would have seemed highly unlikely. Yoga is now being looked at as a medical treatment. Great strides have been made in terms of the physical benefits of practice. All of the great teachers who have guided yoga here would probably be really happy with how far we’ve come.

On the other hand, it is a bit odd. Yoga for lower back pain is a bit inspecific don’t you think? It kind of dumbs it down. It’s kind of like saying “you should try exercise for your back”.

There have been some really good studies on yoga for back pain. I’m a fan of Gary Krafstow’s work. But most media coverage of this topic doesn’t mention specific protocols. It might be better to mention that you should work with a yoga therapist, and not just walk into an advanced asana class at your local gym.

All in all, though the publicity for yoga therapeutics is a good thing. The drive to end physical discomfort has started many on the path of yoga. I’ll take the free PR.

May we all find peace,


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