Hatha yoga, an effective non-medical intervention for treating anxiety

Hatha yoga, an effective non-medical intervention for treating anxiety

“He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.” The Arabian proverb rightly puts into perspective the benefits of good health. But the fear of unknown and constant worries can destroy the peace of mind, pushing the mind into a state of unrelenting and deep-rooted anxiousness, which medical practitioners identify as anxiety disorder.

Assessing the effect of hatha yoga on anxiety

Along with medication, other alternative methods to treat anxiety include yoga. The positive effects of yoga in treating anxiety and consequent depression are already known. Practicing yoga is considered to be more effective than other forms of exercise, and may even be more advantageous than brisk walking. While many forms of yoga are recommended for treating different ailments, researchers from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Boston University advocate practicing Hatha yoga as an efficacious technique for treating anxiety.

For the study, titled “Effect of Hatha Yoga on Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis,” published online in the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine in May 2016, the scientists tried to evaluate the impact of hatha yoga on anxiety. They carried out a meta-analysis of relevant studies collected and collated from PsycINFO, PubMed, the Cochrane Library and other manual searches.

As part of the study, the scientists observed 501 respondents from 17 previous studies who had performed hatha yoga. The participants also informed about the extent of anxiety levels experienced by them prior to and on culmination of the practice. They then evaluated the impact of hatha yoga on anxiety.

The results obtained after a detailed observation of the respondents’ experiences, along with other studies, revealed an interesting correlation between the effectiveness of mindfulness therapy and the number of hours devoted to its practice. The scientists found that those suffering from increased levels of anxiety experienced the most benefits. However, the impact size was not adjusted by factors such as year of the study, gender of the participants, any possible medical disorder in the respondents or their age groups. The scientists noted that though the quality of the studies was not significantly high, the study bias did not abate the impact of hatha yoga on the mental well-being of the participants.

Though the study delves deep into the effectiveness of practicing hatha yoga for the treatment of anxiety, it does not focus on any other alternative therapeutic interventions for anxiety treatment, thus, making it difficult to strike a comparison between the two.

Today, yoga is not limited to a particular region or country, but is now being practised by nearly 37 million Americans, including many celebrities. The Dictionary of Hinduism explains hatha yoga as a kind of asana or position drafted to bring about a feeling of salvation in those who practice it.

Road to recovery

Yoga is an effective way to relax both the body and mind, and hence, doctors are recommending it to patients to help them overcome stress and depression that trigger anxiety which, in turn, can result in a weakened immune system and a poor quality of life. It is necessary for over anxious people to understand that constant worrying does not solve problems, rather it destroys the happiness of today while deeming life difficult in the near future.

If you or your loved one is constantly feeling low due to anxiety, it is important to seek medical help. The Anxiety Treatment Centers of California can give you information about various anxiety disorders treatment centers in California. Chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 to find the best anxiety disorders treatment in California.


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