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According to a recent study, practicing yoga may decrease the number of seizures experienced by individuals with epilepsy and also decrease their levels of anxiety.
According to a recent publication in the medical journal Neurology, implementing this practice may also enhance the overall quality of life for patients by decreasing the stigma associated with their illness.
According to Manjari Tripathi, a researcher at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, individuals with epilepsy often encounter prejudice that can make them feel isolated because of their medical condition, ultimately affecting their overall well-being.
Dr. Tripathi stated that this negative perception can have various impacts on an individual’s life, such as their medical care, trips to the emergency department, and overall mental well-being.
The researchers evaluated individuals in India who had epilepsy and had an average age of 30 years.
The researchers assessed the level of stigma experienced by participants by asking them questions like: “Do you believe that others discriminate against you?” “Do you feel like you are not able to make a contribution to society?” and “Do you feel like you stand out from others?”
Approximately 160 individuals who met the qualifications for facing stigma were subsequently recognized.
According to researchers, these individuals experienced an average of one seizure per week and typically took at least two medications to control seizures.
A group of patients were randomly selected to undergo yoga therapy, which involved activities such as muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, meditation, and positive self-talk.
A different group of individuals were administered a falsified treatment that replicated the same routines, but these subjects were not provided with guidance on two essential elements of yoga – gradual and coordinated breathing, and focus on bodily motions and feelings.
Each group was given seven group sessions over a period of three months, with each session being supervised and lasting between 45 and 60 minutes.
Participants were also instructed to complete home practice sessions at least five times a week for 30 minutes and record their seizures and yoga sessions in a journal.
After completing three months of therapy, the participants were monitored for an additional three months.
The study discovered that individuals who practiced yoga had a greater chance of reducing their seizure frequency by more than half after six months, compared to those who practiced sham yoga.
According to researchers, individuals who practiced yoga were more inclined to decrease their personal perception of the stigma associated with the disease, compared to those who only engaged in a sham practice.
According to the study, individuals who practiced yoga had a significantly higher chance of being seizure-free compared to those who participated in a fake practice.
Scientists observed a noteworthy decline in anxiety indicators among individuals who practiced yoga compared to those who did not.
According to the researchers, the intervention group displayed notable progress in reducing symptoms of anxiety, cognitive decline, mindfulness, and overall quality of life compared to the control group by the end of the follow-up period.
According to Dr. Tripathi, yoga has the potential to decrease stigma and enhance both well-being and presence of mind. In addition, yoga can be conveniently recorded and shared with patients through online platforms, requiring minimal resources and expenses.
The researchers noted the primary drawback of the study was that the participants’ reported their seizure frequency themselves, and it is possible they did not accurately recall all the information.
According to the findings, it is important to explore alternative treatments and activities for individuals with epilepsy who are dealing with stigma.