Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yoga Benefits Patients with Schizophrenia

Believe it or not ... doing stuff this crazy may help people with schizophrenia.
My first yoga class was at Ohio State University ... sorry, The Ohio State University ... in September 1972. I took yoga for two quarters to help satisfy my dreaded phys ed requirement. I also had to take archery, which it turns out I didn't dread half enough. Yoga was a keeper, and I've practiced it as least once a week since, through thick and thin ... waistlines, I mean.

Now a new study has found that yoga, in combination with conventional treatment, seems to benefit patients with schizophrenia.

Researchers assigned 18 stable patients with schizophrenia to either a treatment that used yoga or a wait-list group. The patients' symptoms and quality of life were measured using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire before and after eight weeks of Downward-Facing Dogs, Cobras and relaxation exercises.

The patients who did yoga had significant improvements in paranoia, depression, general psychopathology and quality of life. New York-based psychiatrists are offering it now as part of treatment, I'm reading.   

I can completely see how this could work, although I'm not sure I could convince the person with schizophrenia in my life to try it. Music therapy also shown positive results, while hyponosis not so much.

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