What Latest Research Has to Say About the Benefits of Yoga

Cytokins are natural chemical substances released by the cells in the body. They are released when cells communicate with each other. Cytokins play an important role in body’s response to inflammation, heart disease, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, stress management and ageing. When cancer cells spread to remote corners of the body in the advanced stages, the levels of this chemical rises in the blood of the patient. Because of its association with a host of ailments, researchers have focused their attention on developing treatment techniques and therapies for reducing Cytokins levels in the blood.

Latest research done (dated January 2010), in Ohio State University, reports that regular practising of Yoga by women especially, can reduce the levels of this chemical in the blood. Researcher Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology, examined women expert yoga practitioners for two weeks. She found that the bodies of these yoga experts responded less strongly to stress and had less cases of inflammation.

The research study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is a sister branch of of the National Institutes of Health. The research study involved 50 women around the age of 41 years. They were divided in to two groups as novices and experts based on the duration of yoga experience they had. women with not more than 6-12 sessions of yoga practice were grouped as novice and women with nearly two years of yoga experience were considered as experts in the study. These women attended the clinical trials conducted at the University’s research center. They were asked to fill in questionnaires to measure their mood and anxiety levels. Their blood samples were also collected for evaluation simultaneously.

In the next stage of the study, the participants were made to involve in activities which increased their stress levels like keeping their foot immersed for a minute in extremely cold water and solve difficult mathematics problems without any stationary aids. This was followed by a yoga session, walk on slow paced trade mill or watch boring videos.

Blood samples of the participants during these activities were collected and evaluated. It was found from the study that the chemical substance Cytokins was 41 percent high in the novice group than the expert group of yoga. The mechanism of how yoga is able to reduce this chemical in the blood is not yet understood clearly yet.

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