A recent study published in the Interdisciplinary International Journal by the Dev Sanskriti University in Haridwar, India found that a combination of yoga, pranayama, and chanting could be an effective way to manage Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms.
The study, which asked 60 OCD patients to practice 20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of pranayama, and 10 minutes chanting the Gayatri mantra, found that after 45 sessions the patients' OCD symptoms were reduced. As part of the treatment patients also used herbal medicines.
"The holistic approach can provide a new strategy for management of OCD," the researchers wrote. "The findings are an important exploration with wide scope for further research and applications."
Holistic treatments, like the ones described in the study, are preferable to pharmaceutical drugs because drugs often have negative side effects, said researchers. Additionally, 90 percent of patients who take drugs to manage OCD relapse and see symptoms return when they stop use.
While more research is needed, this study adds to a growing body of research about yoga and mental health. Last year, studies found yoga to be beneficial for teens' mental health and for pregnant women coping with depression.
Read more about the study here.