Study: Yoga Can Help Anxiety, but Therapy is Better
A US study has found that yoga can be effective for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) — but it is not as effective as therapy.
The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, looked at 226 adults with GAD. Participants were put in three groups: one that took a 12-week course of Kundalini yoga, one that had 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and one that was educated about stress.
Researchers found that just over half of the participants responded well to the yoga course, showing reduced anxiety symptoms. But 70% responded well to CBT, while only one-third responded well to stress education.
yoga -半数以上, CBT-70％, stress education 1/3との参加者がよいと回答した。
While it's normal to sometimes feel anxious, according to America's National Institute of Mental Health, people with GAD find it difficult to control these feelings enough to focus on daily tasks, feeling extremely nervous or worried even when there is little reason to. GAD affects about 3% of US adults, and is almost twice as common among women as it is among men.
The Kundalini yoga program used in the study included techniques for movement, breathing, relaxation and meditation, as well as yoga theory and helpful ways of thinking.
CBT, meanwhile, focuses on helping patients become aware of how their thoughts can be inaccurate and harmful — such as having a very low opinion of their own abilities — and how those feelings can affect their behavior. It also provides steps they can take to respond to situations in more positive ways.
having a very low opinion of ～を低く評価する 見下げる
The stress education course included information on the effects of things like diet, exercise, smoking, caffeine, and drinking alcohol.
While the study authors determined that CBT should still be the main treatment for GAD, co-author Naomi M. Simon said that it can sometimes be difficult for people to get this kind of help.
"Many people either are unable to access or afford cognitive behavior therapy," she told United Press International. But yoga, she said, "is widely available and popular."