Holistic yoga can help reduce anxiety disorder says research
Researchers at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya have
developed a holistic approach for management of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
commonly called as OCD or anxiety disorder. The holistic approach is based on
the principle of Psychology, Yoga and Ayurveda, which includes following
techniques- Free-association, Yoga-nidra, Pranayamas (Breath control), Gayatri
mantra japa and herbal medicines like brahmi and Jatamansi .
What is OCD?
Speaking about the available treatments and their limitations the head of the research team, Pranav Pandya said, “A major disadvantage of drug treatment for OCD is that the relapse rate is very high following discontinuation of the drug. Medicines are available but they cause many side effects and relapse rate is very high, approximately 90% upon discontinuation of the medicine.” Participants with mean age 28 years were given individual sessions of therapeutic interventions of holistic approach. Each session was of 60 minutes in which they performed Pranayamas for 10 minutes, Gayatri Mantra Jap for 10 minutes, Free-association for 20 minutes, and, Yoga-nidra for 20 minutes, and 300mg herbal medicines mixture in powder form was given to the patients. There was a significant reduction in the level of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Assistant professors in the department of psychology Dr. Deepak and Pragya Singh said,“We selected three effective herbs which are closely related to psychological disorders because these drugs affect the Central Nervous System. These herbs are Brahmi (Baccopa monneri), Vach (Acorus calamus),and Jatamansi(Nardostachys jatamansi). These medicines basically strengthen the nervous system and reduce the symptoms of anxiety.”
Since the administration of Vach (Acorus calomus) is known to increase the serotonin level in the cerebral cortex of the brain of rat, says a study, it is possible that this medicine may produce similar effect on the brain of human which may cause the reduction of symptoms of obsessions and compulsions, say the researchers. Jatamansi plant is useful in psychological problems and Brahmi is very effective medicine for neuropsychological problems. The use of Brahmi significantly improved concentration ability, memory span and over all mental performance of subjects with mild and moderate mental deficiency.
The second component of the holistic approach is Gayatri Mantra Japa, a universal prayer gives mental support and feelings of security. The trust over the supreme power may induce the hope for more positive life. And also help patients to alter their obsessive thoughts.
The third component of holistic approach is Pranayama. In the present study the researchers made the subjects practice two pranayams, Bhramari pranayama and Pranakarshan. Bhramari pranayam involves breathing as well as sound effect. The sound produced during this process helps to release the conjunction of the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain region which may indirectly reduce anxiety symptoms. The sincere practice of pranayama helps the subject to gain control over the breath which leads him to gain control over the mind and its activities.
When participants get control over their mind, which lead them to control over their thoughts and behaviors, it may produce significant effect in controlling intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors hence reducing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, says researcher Dr. Deepak Singh
Through Yoga-Nidra (psychic sleep) the state of relaxation is reached by turning inwards, away from outer experiences. In the present study to enhance the therapeutic value and effectiveness of Yoga-Nidra, researcher gave specific instructions to the patients according to their conditions and mind became calm and more receptive. The positive instructions given by researcher were more effective & helpful to the patients in managing their obsessions and compulsions easily.