In India, yoga is celebrated as an ancient tradition, which has grown into a global phenomenon. As India gears up for International Yoga Day on June 21, a research paper released by an expert at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, yoga can be used as an adjunct therapy in the management of severe arthritis.
Dr Rima Dada, Prof Lab for Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS, said, yoga improves clinical outcome in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and decreases systemic inflammation by its beneficial effects on psycho-neuro-immune axis and normalization of dysregulated transcripts.
The research paper titled ‘yoga impact on autoimmune arthritis’ is based on a study done in collaboration with Dr Uma Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Rheumatology. Dada emphasized yoga is an integrative health strategy which focusses on both physical and psychological aspects of a disease.
Dada claimed the study on the impact of yoga in 66 RA patients supports adding yoga as an adjunct therapy to treat the chronic debilitating autoimmune disease.
The results of the study suggested that there was a decrease in disease activity after yoga practice, which was associated with a significant reduction in inflammatory cytokines, the elevation of mind-body communicative markers, and normalization of various transcript levels, which improved quality of life. “Despite lack of a cure, the disease may be controlled by yoga-based lifestyle interventions which improves joint flexibility and reduces pain. Yoga significantly improves and reduces the psycho-somatic symptoms, pain perception, disability quotient, joint flexibility, range of motion, posture, muscle strength, coordination, and disease activity”, said the study.
Dada emphasized that this mind-body intervention is the need of the hour in the age of super specialization. “Yoga holds the immense potential to be an adjunct therapeutic regimen in RA patient and has tremendous rehabilitative potential”, added Dada.
The findings indicated that yoga plays a role in facilitation of mind’s capacity to overcome disease and improve physical symptoms via a variety of downstream pathways.