Yoga is a form of exercise practiced by millions all over the world. It continues to grow in popularity as more people look towards it to stay fit and relaxed. However, this ancient exercise offers more than physical benefits. In fact, researchers are now indicating that yoga could very well help children in battling health issues such as chronic headaches and attention deficit disorder.
“When I started taking that, it was like a cure from heaven,” stated Aaron Schaefer, who has spent many years battling debilitating migraines caused by stress. Since he started taking up yoga classes, the headaches are somehow gone. Currently, researchers at Duke University are conducting a study on whether a program that combines yoga along with other therapies is capable of helping children cope with mental and physical health. “It calms you down. It relaxes your body. It lowers your heart rate. It lowers your respiration, and in general, it reduces the effects of stress on your body,” said Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry.
According to Dr Murali, these relaxation responses can aid with mild depression and sleep disorders. Aside from those conditions, yoga may also provide additional benefits for people suffering from schizophrenia and ADHD, when combined with standard drugs. “The benefits were of the same magnitude of the benefits we see with psychiatric medications,” he explained. Based on previous studies, it has been proven that yoga-based techniques has the ability to assist individuals to cope with anxiety, stress and low mood. As of now, researchers are going more in depth to find out if such benefits can be adapted for children and teens. “Oftentimes, they don’t fully understand that kind of awareness of body and the awareness of how their thoughts and emotions can be tied in with how they’re feeling physically,” stated psychology researcher Anava Wren.
“What had been three or four, you know, a dozen headaches a week, disappeared completely,” said Paul Schaefer, Aaron’s father, who claimed that yoga was a great stress reliever for his son. It is because of yoga and how it has helped Aaron that he is now able to focus on his dream of becoming an architect. For more of the story, you can read it from here.