Can Yoga Help Mental Illness?

Jan 30, 2013

Credit GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS, Flickr, Creative Commons

Treatment for mental illness that is safe, healthy, and not too expensive can be hard to find. But new research from  Duke University suggests that yoga might be effective in treating certain psychiatric symptoms.

Murali Doraiswamy is a professor of psychiatry at Duke Medical Center and is one of three authors in a recent study  that systematically looks at 100 studies around the world investigating the effects of yoga on mood disorders. Doraiswamy said he and his colleagues found, "in more serious types of mild clinical depression, regular yoga practiced 3 times a week by itself can act like as effectively as an anti-depressant."

Duraiswamy says larger-scale national mega studies will be needed to put yoga on the same footing as pharmaceuticals. The study appears in this month's journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.