Medical benefits from doing yoga - New York News

Medical benefits from doing yoga

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Yoga is good for flexibility and balance but does it have any 'medical' benefits? Doctors have debated the possibilities in the past, and now new research may end this debate for good.

Scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted the largest ever study on the medical benefits of yoga.  

"Even three months of yoga made a difference in terms of the women for fatigue and for inflammation. So, modest practice over a period of several months could have substantial benefits," says Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, an OSU cancer researcher.

After analyzing blood samples from nearly 200 breast cancer survivors over five years researchers found that six months after taking up yoga, fatigue was cut in half and inflammation markers in the blood were down by 20 percent. Chronic inflammation is a symptom of treatment.   

"It's one of the reasons we think there are higher levels of inflammation in cancer survivors. So, something that reduces inflammation could potentially be very beneficial," says Kiecolt-Glaser.

Researchers at Ohio State intentionally followed women who had never done yoga before, so they could truly gauge the impact it had.

Blood tests showed that the more yoga a woman did, the better her results. Even though they only followed breast cancer patients in this study, researchers say the benefits of yoga would likely apply to survivors of other types of cancer as well.

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