Yoga Is Good Medicine
It protects against some diseases.
Yoga isn’t only a great stress-reducer, it can also protect you against some diseases.
A recent study found that experienced yoga practitioners were likelier than novices to have low levels of inflammation in their body. And a high level of inflammation is a factor in heart disease, depression, and asthma, according to www.livescience.com.
Researcher Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, of Ohio State University told livescience that “the study is the first one, I think, to really suggest how yoga could have some distinctive physical benefits in terms of the immune system.” Inflammation, an immune response, is good when you’re battling an infection. But other than that, high levels of inflammation, which usually occur at times of stress, have been linked to some illnesses.
The people who took part in the study were divided into two groups: experienced practitioners who had done yoga for two years, and novices who had taken six to twelve lessons. Both groups were given stressful tasks for body and mind: immersing a foot in warm water and then in ice water for one minute, followed by five minutes of mental arithmetic. Researchers took blood as the women did the tasks and examined it for a protein that’s known as a “marker of inflammation,” livescience wrote.
The result: The novices showed a protein level 41 percent higher than the experienced practitioners.
Kiecolt-Glaser says yoga may work because it emphasizes deep, controlled breathing, which can improve the body’s reaction to stress. And it’s exercise, which can reduce inflammation.
Just another reason to dust off that yoga mat. (livescience)
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.