Words: Jan E Patterson, MD MS
After more than thirty years of practicing and teaching medicine, I observed that, while traditional medicine can do wonderful things, more is needed for coping with some of the difficulties in life like stress, anxiety, depression, and grief. I trained in integrative medicine and learned simple yet effective measures for self-care that can be integrated with the care you get from your doctor. I recently reviewed the evidence for using four self-care practices—breathwork, movement, nutrition, and spirit—to enhance health and wellness.
Mindfulness and meditation are an important part of yoga practice and this activates spirituality. In a study comparing groups of people using mindfulness and meditation, those using yoga with mindfulness and meditation, those using yoga alone, and a non-intervention group, the groups using yoga with mindfulness and meditation and yoga alone gained the most benefit (22). The intervention groups, but not the non-intervention group also experience less anxiety.