Yoga in the Management of Chronic Conditions – A Review of Research
In Yoga Therapy Greece we combine the ancient yoga wisdom and the evidence informed practices suggested by research. Critically evaluating the latest and most robust research articles, we are happy to share a small summary of them hoping that you will find it interesting to read and a help to understand the effectiveness of yoga and how much yoga can offer in the management of chronic disease.
A robust systematic review and meta-analysis ‘Yoga in the Management of Chronic Conditions by Desveaux et al. (2015) compared the effectiveness of yoga to standard care in Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and in exercise capacity to individuals with chronic conditions such as heart disease, COPD or post stroke. After quality assessment of the trials, 10 studies were examined, with 7 evaluating the effect of yoga in exercise capacity in 289 participants and 6 evaluating the effect of yoga in Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in 257 participants.
The Standardized Mean Difference (SDM) for the mean change was 1.24 ( 0,37-2,85) with CI 95% and for exercise capacity SDM was 2.69 (1.39-3.99) with CI 95%.
The yoga intervention lasted from 60 to 90 minutes in average from 8 weeks to 12 weeks with 1 to 3 supervised sessions per week and consisted of movements (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and guided relaxation. The combination of movements, breathing practices and guided relaxation or meditation is considered the most effective, while the minimum duration to see any physiological or psychological changes is considered the 8 weeks.
This systematic review, like many others, indicate the significant effect of yoga in quality of life (QOL) and increased physical activity, crucial elements for everybody and mostly for people with chronic conditions.
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