Monday, October 10, 2011

Docs rope in on yoga experts to treat neurological disorders

With huge treatment gap for a increasing cases of mental and neurological disorders in the country, health experts are pitching in for traditional yoga to help the mentally ill patients to cope through their situation.

Their claim is not without reasons. Various studies have revealed that specific yoga postures along with pranayama have delivered positive results in the mentally depressed patients —both suffering from minor disorders as well as severe as schizophrenia.

Says Professor Smita Deshpande, Head of Psychiatric Department, RML Hospital: “We would definitely recommend yogasana to mentally disturbed people. Its effectiveness has been proven in our three-and-a-half-year pilot study concluded in 2009. The study revealed that the patients on our specific yoga regiment comprising of pranayama and Jalneti reported improvement in their thought process as well bringing positive change in them.”

Encouraged by the results, the hospital authorities initiated a five-year study last year in December in association with the US-based National Institute of Health (NIH) to confirm the results of the pilot project. “In this study we are having three groups-one comprising of patients on yoga regime plus medication, second group of patients provided with physical fitness and medication and the third group only on medication,” says Prof Deshpande.

So far 64 patients suffering from minor to major disorders such as bipolar mental disorders and schizophrenia have been enrolled under a three weeks programme. They are being regularly followed up, said the health expert. The positive results revealed that yoga helped those with mental illness to cope through their situation.

“I would definitely recommend yoga to all such patients as it helps them to cope through their anxiety and mood disorders. In other words, yoga along with the medicine can bring significant improvement in their situation,” Prof Despande said.

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