Yoga Shows Promise for Treating PTSD - Yoga Practice Blog

Yoga Shows Promise for Treating PTSD

yoga teacher certificationBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

Scientific studies from leading universities have recently shown that the ancient art of yoga may have a measurable effect on mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a type of anxiety that occurs after a traumatic event involving the threat of death or serious injury. Not only does PTSD create immediate problems, such as flashbacks and outbursts of anger; but it, also, changes the way the body reacts to stress.

Exposure to trauma alters the brain’s neurotransmitters – chemicals that carry information back and forth between the nerves. As a result, symptoms of this disorder can be long-lasting and debilitating. Without immediate diagnosis and treatment, PTSD becomes even more complicated and often contributes to other conditions, such as alcoholism, depression, or drug abuse. Proper medication and counseling are invaluable; however, retraining the brain can be a life-long process.

Having a good support system, getting adequate exercise, and practicing self-care are important for anyone suffering from PTSD, but the ancient practice of yoga is emerging as one of its most promising and innovative treatments.

From battered spouses to traumatized veterans, sufferers of PTSD are turning to yoga for help, and they are finding that it works in several ways:

• Increases levels of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the body

• Leads to an increased awareness of the bodily sensations, emotions, and reactions

• Helps to release tension and reduce negative beliefs or memories

• Teaches proper breathing techniques

• Builds confidence and enhances a general sense of well-being and self-control

• Teaches patience and a sense of being present in the moment

• Improves general health and helps to manage chronic illnesses

• Aids in weight loss and improves physical fitness

• Teaches balance and coordination, both physically and emotionally

• Acts a form of meditation

In 2008, The Washington Post reported that the cost of PTSD and depression caused by combat stress in recent wars could run as high as $6 million in two years. Yoga for post traumatic stress disorder not only has the potential to eliminate many of the symptoms of PTSD; but it, also, shows promise in offering sufferers a future filled with peace and joy.

Hari Om Tat Sat

© Copyright 2011 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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