Can yoga help those experiencing depression, anxiety or PTSD?

Posted on March 10, 2016

Photo: flickr

Across the country, health and human service providers have shown a growing interest in using yoga as an option for treating people who experience mental health problems. But a recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that while there are some promising benefits to using yoga, there isn't yet enough evidence to support the practice as a standalone solution for improving mental health and well-being.

For their study, Macy and her colleagues analyzed 13 literature reviews to conduct a meta-review of 185 articles published between 2000 and 2013. Overall, the researchers found that yoga holds potential promise for helping improve anxiety, depression, PTSD and/or the psychological consequences of trauma at least in the short term.

"Even though I do think yoga is, in general, incredibly beneficial, I also think there needs to be a whole lot more education about how to use yoga specifically to treat survivors of trauma in order to be the most effective and helpful," said Leslie Roach, a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist who co-authored the study. "So as a standalone treatment right now, it's just not viable. However, I think with more education, more research, and more experienced instructors, it will be."


Category(s):Anxiety, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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