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It seems like everyday we read about a new study showing what most yogis already know: yoga helps with a plethora of physical ailments. But we’re noticing a trend of new studies focusing on yoga’s ability to combat pain. This might be because yoga helps increase cortisol, a hormone thought to help with pain management. Or because yoga helps us to watch our minds instead of getting consumed by them. We’re happy that science is starting to back yoga’s benefits to relieve pain–the more people get turned on to the healing practice of yoga. Here’s a few recent studies:
Fibromyalgia: The Journal of Pain Research recently published a study showing that yoga decreases chronic pain and the psychological effects of fibromylagia for women in the study. The participants practiced 75 minutes of yoga twice a week for eight weeks. The result? The women showed increased amounts of cortisol.
Migraines: A study out of University of Rajastan, published in the journalHeadache, showed that yoga can help reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines. After the participants practiced a sequence of yoga poses, breathing exercises, relaxation, meditation, and mantras for three months, they reported migraine problems improved, as did their heart rate. “Scientists have been considering serotonin, a brain chemical, to be a
crucial factor for headaches. They think low serotonin levels might
cause blood vessels to dilate and cause migraines.
And yoga is known to improve levels of serotonin,” said researcher Neha Sharma.
General Pain: The Journal of Neuroscience
reported that meditation helps the brain deal with pain. It doesn’t take long: In the study, the subjects each
took four 20-minute sessions to learn how to control their breathing
and put aside their emotions and thoughts.
We want to know: How has yoga helped you with pain?