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Primary Care Medical Yoga for Patients with Stress-related Symptoms and Diagnoses

February 20, 2013

A study conducted by Monica Kohn and her colleagues from Nora Health Centre for primary care in Orebro, Sweden showed medical yoga to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety in patients with stress-related symptoms.

A growing number of patients are suffering from stress-related symptoms and diseases in the primary care setting. Stress as a phenomenon is difficult to define and the term encompasses symptoms such as cognitive problems, fatigue and disrupted sleep. People are increasingly experiencing stress as a serious problem, often due to a burdensome work situation, but also due to lack of stimulation and meaningful employment. Today, the lack of time for rest and recovery seems to be a bigger health problem than physical and mental strain at work.

Researchers from the Nora Health Care Centre in Orebro, Sweden evaluated the effects of medical yoga treatment in patients with stress-related symptoms and diagnosed in primary care using a randomized, controlled study. Patients were randomly allocated to a control group receiving standard care, or a yoga group treated with Medical yoga for 1 hour, once a week, over a 12-week period in addition to the standard care. A total of 37 men and women, mean age 53±12 years were included. General stress level, burnout, anxiety and depression, insomnia severity, pain, and overall health status were measured before and after 12 weeks.

Patients assigned to the yoga group showed significantly greater improvements on measures of general stress level (p<0.000), anxiety (p<0.019) and overall health status (p<0.018) compared to controls. The study concludes that treatment with medical yoga as an integrative medical intervention is effective in reducing levels of stress and anxiety in patients with stress-related symptoms in primary health care.

Click here to read the full article on Hindawi.

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