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Columbia and Harvard researchers find yoga and controlled breathing reduce depressive symptoms

March 15, 2017

New Rochelle, NY, March 14, 2017--A new study demonstrated that individuals with major depressive disorder had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms during a 12-week integrative health intervention that included Iyengar yoga classes and coherent breathing. Participants who took three yoga classes a week were more likely to achieve lower depression scores after 12 weeks than subjects who took two classes, according to the study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available open access on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website.

The article entitled "Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder with Iyengar Yoga and Coherent Breathing: A Randomized Controlled Dosing Study," is coauthored by Richard Brown, MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (New York, NY), and John Eric Jensen, PhD, Harvard School of Medicine (Boston, MA) and McLean Hospital (Belmont, MA), and colleagues from Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Biostatistical Solutions (Boston, MA), Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital (Bedford, MA), and New York Medical College (Valhalla, NY).

In the study, adults 18-64 years of age with major depressive disorder participated in either three (high-dose intervention) or two (low-dose) yoga classes per week and practiced coherent breathing at 5 breaths per minute. The researchers used a Depression Inventory measure to assess depressive symptoms in the 30 participants, at the beginning of the study and throughout the 12-week intervention.

"The practical findings for this integrative health intervention is that it worked for participants who were both on and off antidepressant medications, and for those time-pressed, the two times per week dose also performed well," says The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com, Seattle, WA.
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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R21AT004014, R01AT007483, M01RR00533, UI1RR025771, and K23AT008043. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print. Led by John Weeks (johnweeks-integrator.com), the Co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, the Journal provides observational, clinical, and scientific reports and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols and research strategies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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