For centuries, people have been practicing yoga as a means of improving their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Scientists are now catching up with this phenomenon and finding ways that yoga can help with specific medical issues.
Yoga is especially beneficial for traumatic brain injury victims. These practices incorporate physical movements, breathwork and meditation, which can all contribute to the healing process.
TBI can affect the brain’s ability to function, but yoga can help with this. For one, some postures can increase blood flow to the brain, which can promote healing and recovery. Certain breathing exercises can also help increase the brain’s oxygen levels, which is good for cognition.
The practice of yoga can help individuals feel more relaxed and calm, which can improve overall mood and emotional well-being. Looking at depression in particular, researchers found a 47.2% improvement among TBI patients on average.
Yoga can be an effective therapy for improving overall physical function after a brain injury. Certain poses can stretch and strengthen muscles, which can help relieve pain and improve range of motion. Additionally, yoga can improve circulation, which can help reduce inflammation.
Sleep disturbances are common in individuals recovering from brain injuries. Researchers found that yoga can help alleviate this problem: One study saw a 14.29% improvement in sleep.
Patients should talk to their doctor before starting any new exercise program. Depending on the severity of the injury, certain poses and exercises may not be appropriate. That said, yoga is a promising complementary therapy for brain injury victims looking to enhance their recovery.