Yoga For Stroke Patients: Study Finds Promising Results

Women doing Yoga for stroke patientsYoga may have a beneficial effect when it comes to boosting the balance of stroke survivors, subsequently helping them become more active. A newly conducted study published in the Stroke Journal, provided results concerning Yoga for stroke patients. These findings showed Yoga may have remarkable healing powers for the mind and the body.

The study included 47 patients, about three-quarters male.The goals of the study was to see if practicing yoga for stroke patients was an effective rehabilitation technique. These patients suffered a stroke up to six months before the study took place. Each patient was assigned to one of three yoga groups, which included a twice-weekly group for eight weeks: an advanced group scheduled for two weekly meetings, a relaxation session thrice a week, and a normal stroke care group.

Each yoga class was instructed by a registered yoga therapist. These classes included several modified yoga postures, relaxation, and meditation – each class became more difficult following each week of the study.

In comparison to patients in the normal care group, the patients in the yoga groups exhibited a significant amount of improvement to their balance, become less fearful of falling, and amassed higher scores for both independence and their quality of life.

The study’s success may correspond to the long-term balance problems of stroke survivors, eventually associated with a greater risk of disability and an increased risk of falls. These new results prove that group-oriented yoga for stroke patients is a cost effective way to improve both motor functions and balance, as commented by lead researcher Arlene Schmid.

Schmid continued, saying that typical rehabilitation therapy for stroke patients generally ends after a six month period; though brain functions and other physical improvements continue occurring on a long-term basis.

The healthcare system, however, may not be willing to cover costs for such a change. The study itself demonstrated that even chronically suffering stroke patients with profound paralysis may manage to perform altered yoga poses.

The director of stroke care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Roger Bonomo, thinks general stroke rehabilitation care needs more effective strategies. Anything reducing the risks of falls, improving mood, and lessening the risk of developing depression symptoms are common factors suggested for improving many rehabilitation strategies.

Yoga itself, however, isn’t widely available for many stroke patients as a treatment option. This may be due to the fact that physical therapists aren’t yet yoga certified. Bonomo noted that it’s good to have a treatment option like yoga making a difference in a stroke patient’s physical condition, especially six months or more after the stroke.

Is Yoga For Stroke Patients or Everyone?

When there is an exercise that is widely practiced with very limited downside other than time commitment, it becomes an interesting topic. Yes, yoga has been proven to help stroke patients recover with exceptional results but if it works for them, why not for you? Throughout our lives, common issues such as stress can interrupt our inner peace and cause us to shut down. This is not a mere tautology, it is backed by science.

The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is the description of the pathways through which our bodies manage and react to stress. Starting in the hypothalamus and traveling through the pituitary glands down through the adrenal glands, the NEM Stress Response releases hormones which alter your normal physical state. This is relevant because people who are stressed on a continual basis suffer from health problems and exhaustion. There is a good reason for this, high levels of stress can lead to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) which places our bodies into a dysfunctional imbalance.

Proper yoga for stroke patientsYoga can help normalise levels of hormones and even calm the mind. Fitness is a known reducer of the hormone cortisol which, though needed during extreme circumstances, causes damage in the body over time. Striving to focus on and improve physical health is important for anyone to take part in. Right now we are focusing on yoga and its benefits but it should be noted that it may not be for you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. The mental gains and therapeutic advances that were made in the study that we touched on above help to pave the way for people who are looking to make a change. When we all take active roles in maintaining our emotional and physical well-being, it begets the mindset of someone who can overcome anything and push through to AFS recovery.


Yoga for stroke patients
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