In a recent study from India the use of an integrated therapeutic yoga program was evaluated as a potential treatment for reducing pain and depression levels in patients with chronic migraines. Seventy patients, ages 18 – 65 years, who experienced 15 or more headaches per month were assigned to either standard pain management groups or yoga therapy groups for the study. The study lasted twelve weeks with the yoga group participating in four 60 minute yoga sessions per week. Each therapeutic session focused on relaxation, strengthening, releasing muscular tension, and increasing self efficacy. The standard pain management control group received standard care from a physician. The outcome of this trial was measured based upon self-perceived pain intensity, duration, and frequency, functional status, prescription and nonprescription drug use, and depression reports. Although there were no initial statistically significant differences between the groups, at the end of the 12 week trial, the yoga therapy group experienced statistically significant improvements in all categories. These improvements over the control group retained their significance at a 6-month follow up as well. The study concluded that positive health related outcomes in chronic migraine sufferers can be obtained through low cost, integrated yoga therapy in a nonclinical setting.
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