Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Efficacy of Yoga Therapy for the Management of Psychopathology of Patients Having Chronic Schizophrenia

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Efficacy of Yoga Therapy for the Management of Psychopathology of Patients Having Chronic Schizophrenia

Article excerpt

Byline: Babu. Paikkatt, Amool. Singh, Pawan. Singh, Masroor. Jahan, Jay. Ranjan

Background: There is a large body of literature and scientific data regarding the efficacy of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia, however, studies on Yoga therapy is scanty. Yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotion, and for enlightening the mind and upliftment of the total personality. Aims: The present study was conducted to determine the efficacy of Yoga therapy as an adjunctive therapy and to see its effects on psychopathology on the patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia. Settings and Design: Pre- and post-test design with the control group. Materials and Methods: It is a study using purposive sampling technique by which 30 chronic schizophrenic patients were selected and 15 patients were randomly assigned to Yoga therapy along with pharmacotherapy (experimental group), and 15 were assigned pharmacotherapy alone (control group) after the baseline assessment using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The Yoga group attended Yoga therapy everyday for about 11/2 h including motivational and feedback session. Results: At the end of 1 month postassessment was done, and schizophrenic patients, who received the yogic intervention showed better rating than those in pharmacotherapy alone on PANSS variables. Conclusion: Yoga could be a right choice for improving psychopathology resulting in better quality of life along with other pharmacological management and psychosocial interventions.

Introduction

The contribution of Yoga on mental health practice has been acknowledged world-wide and is the oldest system of holistic health in the world with its roots originating in Indian philosophy and is used as an adjunct to psychotherapy in several countries. Yoga means union, as it harmonizes the body, breath, mind and spirit. It is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotion, and for enlightening the mind and upliftment of the total personality. The Yoga sessions involve the practice of floor, sitting, and standing postures, inversions (headstand, shoulder stand), breathing exercises ( pranayam a), and meditation. Specific asanas work on the various systems of the body, bringing alertness to mind, while soothing nervous system and glands, relaxing brain, and maintaining a physical, physiological, and emotional balance, and thus teach the brain, and body to work in harmony. Since, Yoga has a holistic approach encompassing body, mind and soul and therefore the Yoga is a combination of physiotherapy, psychotherapy, and spiritual therapy.

There is a large body of literature and scientific data regarding the pharmacological and psychosocial interventions and the rehabilitation of patients with schizophrenia. The efficacy of Yoga has not been much examined in schizophrenia. However, several features of Yoga make it an attractive option for improving psychopathology in schizophrenia. Yogic practices, though started to create discipline in an individual's holistic life, gradually experimented whether it could help to improve mental health of the patients suffering from various disorders starting from anxiety related disorders, to psychosomatic, to neurological disorders and presently reaching to major mental disorders like schizophrenia, and proved its efficacy.

Vahia [sup][1] reported a study of patients comprising of anxiety neurotics, neurotic depression, conversion reaction, mixed neurosis and psychosomatic disorder and observed significant improvement, and further studies also well established its efficacy in various anxiety disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder;[sup][2] on anxiety, depression, and tension.[sup][3],[4] Yoga has proved its efficacy in treating patients suffering from mild to moderate level of depression,[sup][5],[6] and is associated with improved mood, and may be a useful way of reducing stress during inpatient psychiatric treatment. …

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