Yoga empowers youth dealing with depression, anxiety and PTSD

Dec 14, 2018 | News

Yoga is gaining momentum as a therapeutic option for people with various physical and mental health issues and new research suggests its benefits extend to youth who have experienced trauma.

A research team, led by Sarah Cochrane, Nurse Practitioner at Foundry Vancouver-Granville, found young people with diagnoses of depression, anxiety and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) saw positive results from participating in an 8-week trauma-sensitive yoga (TSY) program. The trauma-sensitive yoga model was developed at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, as an adjunct treatment for complex trauma. Previous studies have pointed to its beneficial effect on adults, but little was known about its effect on youth.

Conventional mental health therapies tend to be more cognitively-oriented, but as Cochrane notes, not everyone wants to talk about their mental health, nor does everyone want to take medication.

“We know that trauma profoundly affects the body, and so it doesn’t make sense not to bring the body into treatment and healing,” she says.

Her team’s research showed that yoga helped participants reduce and manage anxiety, helped with chronic pain, increased mindful awareness, and helped with structure and routine in their life. Based on these encouraging results, Cochrane is now hoping to roll out trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct treatment option across Foundry’s network of youth wellness centres in BC.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Research & Learning

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