Iyengar Yoga for Young Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results From a Mixed-Methods Pilot Study

Pediatric Pain Program, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA.
Journal of pain and symptom management (Impact Factor: 2.8). 05/2010; 39(5):904-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.09.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that often impacts patient's quality of life. For young people with RA, there is a need for rehabilitative approaches that have been shown to be safe and to lead to improved functioning.
This pilot study investigated the feasibility of a single-arm, group-administered, six-week, biweekly Iyengar yoga (IY) program for eight young adults with RA.
IY is known for its use of props, therapeutic sequences designed for patient populations, emphasis on alignment, and a rigorous teacher training. Treatment outcomes were evaluated using a mixed-methods approach that combined quantitative results from standardized questionnaires and qualitative interviews with participants.
Initial attrition was 37% (n=3) after the first week because of scheduling conflicts and a prior non-RA related injury. However, the remaining participants (n=5) completed between 75% and 100% of treatment sessions (mean=95%). No adverse events were reported. The quantitative results indicated significant improvements in pain, pain disability, depression, mental health, vitality, and self-efficacy. Interviews demonstrated improvement in RA symptoms and functioning but uncertainty about whether the intervention affected pain.
These preliminary findings indicate that IY is a feasible complementary approach for young people with RA, although larger clinical trials are needed to demonstrate safety and efficacy.

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Available from: Lonnie Zeltzer, Aug 21, 2014
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    • "Moreover, Yoga has effects on the immune system [21], on pain in rheumatoid arthritis [22], on allergic respiratory symptoms [23], and it can induce lower sympathetic activity and improve trunk flexibility [24]. Researchers have explored the role of Yoga in treating cardiovascular diseases [25], and have observed that plasma melatonin increases after Yoga sessions, which can be responsible for improved well-being due to increased melatonin secretion [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Yoga is a psychophysical, spiritual science of holistic living, aiming towards body and mind development; it can influence well-being, cognitive processes, personality (Gunas), psychophysiological parameters, and human health. Since it has been observed that Morningness-Eveningness disposition is associated with personality, and that personality can characterize people practicing Yoga, in this exploratory study we posited that Morningness-Eveningness might be associated with personality in Yoga trainees. Since Yoga can have influences over cognitive perspectives, and since it has been observed that Morningness-Eveningness disposition can associate with cognitive processes, we investigated a sample of Yoga trainees with reference to relationship with styles of learning and thinking (relevant aspects of cognitive functioning) and also with Morningness-Eveningness disposition. Material/Method We tested 184 Yoga trainees using the following questionnaires: Styles of Learning and Thinking (Torrance), Big Five Questionnaire (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Borgogni), and reduced Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (Natale). Results We found that Morning types score significantly higher than Evening types on Conscientiousness, Friendliness, Scrupulousness, Openness to Culture, emotional Stability, emotion Control, they score higher than intermediate types on Conscientiousness, Friendliness, Scrupulousness. Moreover, data showed that the high majority of subjects, also with reference to Morningness-Eveningness disposition, have right-sided styles of learning and thinking, pointing out a tendency towards right-sided cognitive precessing in the whole sample. Personality traits of the Yoga trainees were also investigated. Conclusions Data are discussed with reference to existing literature, psychological and neuroscientific perspectives are suggested, previous studies about Yoga published on Medical Science Monitor are also considered.
    Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 02/2014; 20:238-246. DOI:10.12659/MSM.889030 · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    • "The eight studies that used yoga as an intervention for RA were evaluated according to ‘Levels of evidence for randomized controlled trials (based on the Oxford Center for Evidence-based Medicine),’ which are summarized in Table 1.19 Three studies showed Evidence level 2,11–13 four studies showed Evidence level 3,15–18 and one study showed Evidence level 4.14 "
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    ABSTRACT: We reviewed published literature regarding the use of yoga for managing rheumatoid arthritis to determine whether adequate evidence exists to suggest its usefulness as a therapy. A search for previous studies involving yoga and rheumatoid arthritis in PubMed yielded eight reports. These studies reported the benefits of yoga in the physical and mental health of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggesting that yoga is a useful add-on therapy for RA patients. However, all studies showed limitations with respect to sample size, study design, description and duration of yoga intervention, and assessment tools and statistical methods used. Additionally, the studies did not attempt to understand the mechanisms underlying observed benefits. Hence, evidence suggests a definite role of yoga in RA improvement, reducing pain, improving function, and creating a positive mental state. However, detailed analysis and additional studies are necessary to verify these observations.
    Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 08/2012; 3:81-87. DOI:10.2147/OAJSM.S25707
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    • "Studies have shown that the practice of yoga reduces perceived stress and negative feelings and improves mental and physical symptoms [3-6]. Yoga has therapeutic benefits not only for various mental disorders [7-10] but also for some physical diseases, such as asthma [11], hypertension [12], rheumatoid arthritis [13], migraines [14], musculoskeletal disorders [15], cancer-related symptoms [16] and other disorders [17], most of which are related to mental factors or mental states, or are aggravated by stress. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown the short-term or intermediate-term practice of yoga to be useful for ameliorating several mental disorders and psychosomatic disorders. However, little is known about the long-term influences of yoga on the mental state or stress-related biochemical indices. If yoga training has a stress-reduction effect and also improves an individual's mental states for a long time, long-term yoga practitioners may have a better mental state and lower stress-related biochemical indices in comparison to non-experienced participants. This study simultaneously examined the differences in mental states and urinary stress-related biochemical indices between long-term yoga practitioners and non-experienced participants. The participants were 38 healthy females with more than 2 years of experience with yoga (long-term yoga group) and 37 age-matched healthy females who had not participated in yoga (control group). Their mental states were assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire. The level of cortisol, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and biopyrrin in urine were used as stress-related biochemical indices. The average self-rated mental disturbance, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and fatigue scores of the long-term yoga group were lower than those of the control group. There was a trend toward a higher vigor score in the long-term yoga group than that in the control group. There were no significant differences in the scores for depression and confusion in the POMS between the two groups. The urine 8-OHdG concentration showed a trend toward to being lower in the long-term yoga group in comparison to the control group. There were no significant differences in the levels of urine biopyrrin or cortisol. The present findings suggest that long-term yoga training can reduce the scores related to mental health indicators such as self-rated anxiety, anger, and fatigue.
    BioPsychoSocial Medicine 06/2011; 5(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1751-0759-5-6
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