A study published in April shows that yoga has significant benefits for those with ulcerative colitis as compared to self-care. The researchers showed that yoga may be used as an option for those who suffer from reduced quality of life due to chronic ulcers.
The guarantor of the study was Dr. Holger Cramer who conceptualized, designed the randomized testing, and oversaw the collection and interpretation of the data collected. The study was first published on April 5 in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal.
Ulcerative colitis, or ulcers, is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease. Although it is not yet entirely known what causes it, many note that stress is a factor that exacerbates the condition.
According to the study, the researchers wanted to look into yoga as treatment and intervention option for patients with ulcerative colitis. They looked into other studies which showed how yoga can be effective in reducing stress, and improving quality of life and wanted to see if the same can be said for those with ulcers.
“Many people use yoga to increase their quality of life. Our study suggests that it might be worthwhile to consider yoga as part of a multimodal integrative approach for treating ulcerative colitis,” said Cramer.
The 77 patient who participated in the study were screened and must have been suffering from ulcerative colitis for at least 12 months prior to the start of the research. They were divided into two groups: the first was assigned 12 weekly, 90 minute yoga sessions, and the other randomized group was given written self-care advice to follow.
Not only did more individuals report increased quality of life after 12 weeks, they also reported a decrease in disease activity after 24 weeks.
The study also noted that three people in the yoga group reported serious adverse effects (as compared to one in the self-care group); and seven patients in the yoga group, along with eight patients in the self-care group reported non-serious adverse effects during the course of the study.
Three certified Hatha Yoga instructors were consulted prior to the start of the study to design a program that could be given to the patients. A full list of asana included in the classes were included in the published study that may be read in full at Wiley Online Library.