Meditation and yoga have the power to cure severe depression in people who have stopped responding to drugs, according to this new study.
Researchers suggest there could be significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety in medicated patients with major depressive disorder who participate in breathing technique known as Sudarshan Kriya yoga.
The Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped those suffering from depression and on medication when compared to those who took medicines but did not do any breathing exercise. “The study found a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug approach for patients battling depression,” said Anup Sharma, a neuropsychiatry research fellow at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, in the US.
The meditation technique involves slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths. Patients, who practised Sudarshan Kriya yoga, also showed a significantly greater improvement in mood, interest in activities and energy levels. It also brought down suicidal thoughts and feelings of guilt among other symptoms of depression.
“Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that’s easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings,” Sharma added. Past studies suggest that yoga and other controlled breathing techniques can potentially adjust the nervous system to reduce stress hormones.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.