Yoga classes, which include the work of the mind and body, are able to reduce the level of anxiety, as well as reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in patients.
Downward-facing dog may be the best exercise for people with epilepsy, according to a study published in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal Neurology.
Yoga is a practice that teaches you to listen to your body and control its condition. During classes, each statistical body position is called “asana“.
The study, which was conducted in India, involved 160 patients with epilepsy under the age of 30.
|Downward facing dog asana. Photo: lechatnoir/Getty Images|
On average, people had one seizure per week and were taking two anticonvulsant drugs, it said.
By means of a survey, the authors of the study established the level of stigmatization of the participants, that is, to what extent each of them feels “not the same as everyone else” because of their illness.
“Stigma can affect a person’s life in many ways, including treatment, emergency room visits and poor mental health.
Our research shows that practicing yoga can ease the burden of epilepsy and improve overall quality of life.”said study author and neurologist Manjari Tripathi of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
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The researchers then randomly selected a group of people to undergo yoga therapy, which included muscle relaxation exercises, breathing, meditation, and positive affirmations.
The rest of the people did “sham” yoga, where participants were given no instructions about two key components of yoga that affect relaxation:
- slow and synchronized breathing;
- attention to body movements and sensations during practice.
Both groups of people participated in seven 45- to 60-minute group sessions under the supervision of a trainer over three months.
They were also asked to practice yoga at home at least five times a week for 30 minutes. The study participants recorded the number of classes and epileptic seizures in diaries.
After three months of yoga, the researchers followed the participants for the same period.
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|Photo: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images|
The researchers found that people who practiced yoga were more likely to have reduced perceptions of stigma and more than halved the frequency of epileptic seizures.
“The results of the study highlight the need to consider alternative treatments and interventions for people with epilepsy who face stigma.
Yoga can not only help reduce stigma, but also improve quality of life. It can be done using minimal resources and costs.” – said the author of the study.
The authors of the study note that the imperfection of their work lies in the fact that the participants themselves had to report the frequency of attacks and, perhaps, they forgot to indicate some attacks.
Earlier we talked about why yoga can be harmful.
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