Gulf News

Yoga helps manage disease

Patients show ‘improved movements and better coordinati­on’

- BY PAMELA RAGHUNATH Correspond­ent

The revolution­ary teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, is now helping patients stricken with Parkinson’s disease, as revealed by preliminar­y studies.

A scientific study carried out by the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS) on 27 patients has shown that the quality of life in patients with the disease distinctly improved after yogic sessions for three months.

Those doing yoga made significan­t improvemen­ts in their movements and the intensity of tremors too re- duced when compared with patients who did not do yoga.

“Subjective feedback from patients who underwent the yoga programme revealed they had an improved sense of well-being, were able to walk and move better, maintain a better posture and felt more confident,” said Dr S.M. Katrak, President of PDMDS, at a special symposium organised on the occasion of World Parkinson’s disease yesterday at Bombay Hospital.

“The results of this study give scientific evidence on the positive influence of the ancient Indian science of yoga on this neurologic­al disorder,” he added. The highlight of the event, however, was 89-year-old Iyengar’s demonstrat­ion on how to guide the patients to practise yoga so as to improve their body movements and achieve stability. “It is a question of bringing communicat­ion between motor and sensory nerves,” he said.

Iyengar’s yoga uses props like belts, cushions and foot rests to bring about “rehabilita­tion” which he says is meant to improve blood supply to the brain, muscles, bone marrow and spine. “Eventually, the divisions between the mind and body disappear,” he says. “The root of the brain is in the tail of the spine” and therefore it is essential to improve blood supply to the spine through yoga.

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