Yoga-based intervention helps with remission of RA

February 14, 2019

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory condition – when the immune system thinks the body’s own tissues are foreign and attacks them. It affects approximately 1.3 million US citizens, with no known cure. Various medications are available, but recovery depends on physiological and psychological factors, such as depression.

Dr. Rima Dada, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Anatomy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, led new research published in the journal of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. Dr. Dada found that a regimen of intensive yoga eases the physical symptoms of RA and the accompanying psychological distress.

Dr. Dada and colleagues studied the effects of practicing yoga intensively in  72 people with RA, all who took disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), normally prescribed for RA. However, some participants engaged in 120-minute sessions of yoga five times a week, for 8 weeks.

The study showed that yoga had a positive effect in practice – disease markers of neuroplasticity, inflammation, cellular health, and cellular aging were seen to have improved. The severity of depression was also markedly improved.

Dr. Dada has suggested an appropriate yoga regimen and routine drug therapy for patients with RA, as it has immune-regulatory benefits. She further explains that yoga facilitates the mind’s capacity to affect bodily functions to bring about natural immunological tolerance to symptoms, and the study results prove it.

Dr. Dada concluded that yoga re-established immunological tolerance by aiding remission at molecular and cellular level, including a significant reduction in depression. Hence, yoga can be used as a complementary therapy, supplemented by standard RA drugs to alleviate symptoms, both physical and cellular.

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Category: Education, Features

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