Sciatica.org is the informative website of Loren Fishman MD: “Yoga and medicine, used both separately and together, have tremendous healing benefits for patients, and can minimize pain and disability.”
The following references are courtesy of Tina Paul, who kindly gave permission to reprint her listing of research here:
Yoga Research (collected by Tina Paul)
A recent bibliometric analysis of yoga research as a therapeutic intervention found 486 articles with 217 in peer reviewed journals from 29 countries. The report finds that there has been a three-fold increase in the number of publications in the past 10 years with the most publications originating in India, followed by the US and Canada. The top three disorders addressed by yoga interventions include: mental health, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26196166)
Listing of yoga related research studies on varied health conditions below. You may link to more information by clicking on the title of the study.
This pilot study found increase in GABA ( neurotransmitter associated with improved mood) levels in yoga practitioners after 60 minute yoga session compared to 60 minute reading session.
The 12-week yoga intervention was associated with greater improvements in mood and anxiety than a metabolically matched walking exercise. This is the first study to demonstrate that increased thalamic GABA levels are associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety.
After the CBT + kundalini yoga intervention, pre-post comparisons showed statistically significant improvements in state and trait anxiety, depression, panic, sleep and quality of life.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of yoga on back pain, BDNF and serotonin of pre-menopausal women who practiced yoga 3X a week for 12 weeks.
6 month yoga intervention of small group of elderly found to increase hippocampus volume.
Regular practice of yoga may have neuroprotective effects against whole brain age related grey matter decline. Results of this study suggest that more weekly regular yoga practice is associated with larger brain volume in areas involved with bodily representation, attention, self-relevant processing, visualization and stress regulation.
Yoga practitioners represent one section of society that engages in slow breathing exercises for both psychological and physical health benefits. Mental states of calmness and well-being reportedly accompany slow yogic breathing and associated physcial positions.
Findings suggest that regular and long-term yoga practice improves pain tolerance in by teaching different ways to deal with sensory inputs and the potential emotional reactions attached to those inputs leading to a change in insular brain anatomy and connectivity.