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Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

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Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

The Science of Yoga for Health and Well-Being

August 14, 2012

Millions of Americans, myself included, practice yoga. Personally, I enjoy yoga because it’s a good form of low-impact exercise. But are there health benefits associated with yoga that extend beyond exercise? There is some interesting research being conducted in this area, and we’re still learning about the science of this mind and body therapy and its effect on our overall health and well-being.

This month we launched a new online video, Scientific Results of Yoga for Health and Well-Being, that sheds some light on the research and science behind yoga as a complementary health practice, particularly for hard-to-treat problems such as chronic low-back pain. The video highlights the work of two respected researchers, George Salem, Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and Karen Sherman, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. The video is meant to be an educational tool featuring information on potential effects of yoga practice on health as well as safety information.

I encourage you to check out some of the latest scientific findings on yoga research and watch the video. For additional information on yoga, you can also take a look at our latest consumer tips, 5 Things You Should Know About Yoga as well as this month’s NCCAM Clinical Digest. And as always, if you’re thinking about starting to practice yoga, be sure to talk to your health care providers. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Take care and be well!

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