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Yoga

Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of five studies – providing just a taste of the available research. These Spotlights were not selected because they are the most favorable or the most recent, but to provide you an introduction to the more extensive research you'll uncover searching the four databases found in the “Research” section of this site.

  • A Boston University School of Medicine (US) randomized controlled study reveals 12 weeks of yoga results in significant increases in a critical brain chemical that improves mood and lowers anxiety.
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  • A Harvard Medical School (US) controlled study concluded that 2 months of yoga resulted in significantly less general anxiety, depression and anger in the young, professional musicians studied.
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  • A University of Virginia systematic review of 25 clinical trials concludes that yoga may improve risk indices for patients with type 2 diabetes, including: glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, blood pressure, oxidative stress, coagulation profiles and pulmonary function - and may have promise for preventing cardiovascular complications in this population.
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  • A National Taiwan University systematic review (10 randomized controlled trials) concluded yoga had a significantly more positive impact than supportive group therapy in alleviating anxiety, depression and stress in cancer patients.
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  • A Peninsula Medical School (UK) systematic review of 5 randomized controlled trials (RCTS), found yoga leads to a significantly greater reduction in low back pain than usual care, education or conventional therapeutic exercises. (But two RCTs showed no between-group differences.) Hence, it’s concluded that yoga has the potential to alleviate low back pain, but definitive claims should be treated with caution.
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