Any adverse event can trigger mental trauma. There are many things that can and do happen throughout our lives that can affect our mental health. Trauma can leave in its wake a whole host of challenging symptoms, from depression, to anxiety, to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Often, people dealing with the aftermath of trauma are prescribed drugs. But these drugs can come with some well-documented prescription side effects and may not be the best solution long-term.
For those looking for an alternative remedy to help with the symptoms of trauma, why not turn to yoga? Yoga is singularly tailored to meet the needs of someone who is suffering from stress, depression, and anxiety. Yoga gets your body moving in a healing way, engages your mind by encouraging you to concentrate on one thing, and releases pent-up stress and emotions in a gentle way.
Researchers in India recently reviewed 11 studies in which mental health disorders resulting from trauma were managed through yoga and meditation. The research team evaluated the use of yoga in managing trauma-related depression, anxiety, PTSD, and physiological stress following exposure to natural calamities, war, interpersonal violence, and incarceration in a correctional facility.
In one study review, survivors of the December 2004 tsunami that occurred in South East Asia were recruited. In all, 183 people who were above the age of 18 years and who scored 50 or above on a “Posttraumatic Check List,” participated. The participants were divided into three groups: yoga breath intervention; yoga breath intervention followed by three to eight hours of trauma reduction exposure technique; and a wait list control group.
The participants were assessed at the beginning and end of 24 weeks, as well as intermittently using measures for PTSD and depression.
The researchers found that PTSD scores significantly reduced with yoga breath intervention and yoga breath intervention followed by three to eight hours of trauma reduction exposure technique.
A second study was reviewed that focused on 20 health workers who were involved in relief work 10 weeks after hurricane Katrina. Meditation was taught as a four-hour workshop followed by an eight-week home study program. The participants were assessed using disaster exposure questions, a PTSD checklist, and a depression scale. Results showed that the participants’ PTSD scores and anxiety symptoms significantly decreased with the intervention.
For more information on how yoga could improve your mental health, read the article Yoga Can Put You in a Better Mood.