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Yoga to Improve Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Study Suggests

Sep, 2020

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According to a new research study by the researchers of NYU Grossman School of Medicine found that Yoga reduces the level of generalized anxiety disorder noticeably in comparison to standard education on stress management. Generalized anxiety disorder can be defined as a condition including chronic nervousness and worry. However, Yoga might not be that effective as compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Lead study author Naomi M. Simon, MD, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health stated, “Generalized anxiety disorder is a very common condition, yet many are not willing or able to access evidence-based treatments. Our findings demonstrate that yoga, which is safe and widely available, can improve symptoms for some people with this disorder and could be a valuable tool in an overall treatment plan.”

In the study, 226 men and women with generalized anxiety disorder were taken into consideration. These 226 individuals were randomly divided to three groups including CBT, Kundalini yoga, or stress-management education, and a standardized control technique. Later after 3 months, researchers observed that individuals who underwent CBT (71% people with improved symptoms) and Kundalini yoga (54% people with improved symptoms) exhibited significant reduced symptoms for anxiety in comparison to stress education group (only 33% people with improved symptoms).  However, later after six months of follow-up, researchers suggested that only CBT exhibited longer-lasting anxiety-reducing effects.

In addition, according to researchers, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered as first-line treatment. However due to lack of access to trained therapists and long waitlists many people avoid CBT and seek complementary and alternative interventions such as yoga. Yoga is easily accessible, and has several health benefits.

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