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Yoga doesn't only calm your mind, lower depression and improve cognitive functioning among caregivers, it also decreases inglammation.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that participating in Kirtan Kriya Meditation, a kind of yoga practice, was linked to a decrease in inflammation.
"This is encouraging news," study researcher Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, said. "Caregivers often don't have the time, energy, or contacts that could bring them a little relief from the stress of taking care of a loved one with dementia, so practicing a brief form of yogic meditation, which is easy to learn, is a useful too."
The new study that was published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal included 45 caregivers for family members with dementia who were split into two groups - one that did the 12-minute yoga practive once a day for eight weeks, and one that just listened to relaxing music for 12 minutes once a day for eight weeks.
Researchers found that caregivers who participated in the yoga practice experienced a change in the response of 68 genes leading to the decrease in inflammation. Inflammation has been linked with health problems like heart disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, according to Scientific American.
The American Medical Association says that 16 percent of caregivers have worsened health after they had begun caring for someone. About half of Alzheimer's disease caregivers develop psychological distress.
But now the study conducted by the UCLA researchers found that Kirtan Kriya was linked with better scores on a depression and mental health scale than just relaxation.