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Wide Ranging Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Posted Feb 09 2013 10:08pm

Public pressure prompts the identification of clinically efficacious, safe, patient acceptable, and cost-effective forms of treatment for mental disorders. Several studies have demonstrated benefit from yoga in specific psychiatric symptoms and a general sense of well-being.  Meera Balasubramaniam, from Duke University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues completed a systematic assessment to determine the efficacy of yoga in the treatment of major psychiatric disorders.  Benefits of the exercise were found for all mental health illnesses included in the review, observing that emerging scientific evidence in support of the 5,000 year old Indian practice on psychiatric disorders is "highly promising" and showed that yoga may not only help to improve symptoms, but also may have an ancillary role in the prevention of stress-related mental illnesses. The review found evidence from biomarker studies showing that yoga influences key elements of the human body thought to play a role in mental health in similar ways to that of antidepressants and psychotherapy. One study found that the exercise affects neurotransmitters, inflammation, oxidative stress, lipids, growth factors and second messengers. The study authors conclude that: "There is emerging evidence from randomized trials to support popular beliefs about yoga for depression, sleep disorders, and as an augmentation therapy.”

Meera Balasubramaniam, Shirley Telles, P. Murali Doraiswamy.  “Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders.”  Front. Psychiatry, 25 January 2013.

  
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A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 77% of men and women ages 40 to 58 plan to work in retirement. Some of these people will become consultants in the industry in which they worked all their lives, while others will embark on a completely new career. A retirement job can boost your nest egg significantly. Assuming you retire at age 65, work two days a week earning 40% of what you earned before retiring, you can increase your savings by 30% over a five-year period (assumes 6% annual return and an annual inflation rate of 3%). Working during retirement also helps to maintain a social network that has been found to be key in maintaining a meaningful life.
 
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