Yoga as an integrated form of exercise may be used for treatment of panic and anxiety disorder in combination with standard treatment.
Panic and anxiety disorder is a mental condition characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks. of sudden periods of intense fear inducing palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something really bad is going to happen.
Yoga, the ancient technique practice for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture … has been best known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutions' research and supported by health advocates.
In the study of total of 20 subjects diagnosed with panic disorder, randomly assigned to both experimental groups: Group 1 (G1-Yoga: 10 subjects) attended yoga classes and Group 2 (G2-CBT + Yoga: 10 subjects) participated in a combined intervention of yoga practice followed by a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) session, researchers filed the following results:
1. Both group displayed a statistical analysis in reduction of anxiety levels associated with panic disorder, panic-related beliefs and panic-related body sensations
2. The combination of yoga and CBT (G2) showed a better reduction in all observed parameters in comparison to only yoga group.
Dr. Vorkapic CF, the lead author, after taking into account of other con-founders said, “… improvements in different mental health parameters after the practice of contemplative techniques alone or combined to psychotherapy” and “(Understanding) joining psychological and physiological variables could help better elucidate the mechanisms through which mind-body practices work to improve mental health. ”
Other, in the review of literature published on quality of life in panic disorder from 1980 to 2010 on database of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed, indicated that yoga intervention in combination of standard treatment may ameliorate basic quality of life impairments in panic disorder, improve mental and physical health … and be used as post-treatment in enhanced quality of life (QOL) in these group of patients.
Dr. Davidoff J, the lead author went even further to suggest, “understanding the nature of comorbidities in panic disorder (PD) as well as to determine whether additional interventions that have been studied in other psychiatric disorders, such as exercise, meditation, yoga, humor , massage, and nutritional supplements, can be utilized to improve QOL in PD to normal community levels.
Interestingly, in the review of literature published on PubMed in English up to December 2012 to evaluate the effect of complementary and alternative therapies in panic and anxiety disorder, researchers also found that
1. Data based illustrated that depression evidence base is significantly larger than anxiety disorder
2. Yoga was considered as levels 3 line of treatment of patients with panic and anxiety disorder due to the quality of available evidence.
Taking altogether, there is no doubt that yoga may be considered as an adjunct exercise in combination with standard therapy for treatment of panic and anxiety disorder.