Breaking research has surfaced that reveals potential benefits of yoga for epilepsy patients.
As yoga teachers, it is important to know how yoga can affect or influence people with different health conditions. That’s why I thought I would share this research with you.
What The Research Says About Epilepsy And Yoga
The research suggests that yoga helps with epilepsy by stabilizing the electroencephalogram (a record of brain activity produced by electroencephalography).
The research looked into four main aspects of yoga for people with epilepsy: the benefits, motivation, barriers in the way of practicing yoga, and the whether yoga should be recommended for people with epilepsy.
The studied highlighted several benefits of yoga for epilepsy sufferers, including improved management of seizures, as well as social, physical, and psychological benefits.
Yoga (READ: The different types of yoga) has been scientifically perceived to help stabilize brain activity and the autonomic nervous system (part of the nervous system that supplies the internal organs, including the blood vessels, stomach, intestine, liver, kidneys, and other organs). This, the researchers believed, would mean that yoga could help people with epilepsy to manage their seizures.
The research team conducted a study to explore how yoga might be used as a nonpharmacological intervention for epilepsy.
The researchers conducted interviews with study participants to determine the severity of their epilepsy and how practicing yoga effected that severity.
The research highlighted perceived benefits in the ability to manage seizures, as well as psychological, social, and physical benefits. The research found that people who has epilepsy were highly motivated to practice yoga because of the benefits they believed they would get from the practice. However, some personal and logistical factors prevented individuals from properly adopting a yoga practice. For this reason, the research team recommends that an adaptive form of yoga should be created that makes yoga more accessible for people with epilepsy.
Firsthand Accounts Of Using Yoga For Epilepsy Management
I wanted to determine whether people with epilepsy who have practiced yoga had noticed any benefits. And so I researched online.
The Epilepsy Foundation has a forum where epilepsy sufferers have discussed how practicing yoga has helped them control their seizures.
The vast majority of comments on the forum had only positive things to say about yoga for epilepsy. One commenter said, “Yoga can definitely help reducing stressors that can trigger a seizure.” Although on closure inspection I did notice that this comment came from an individual who owns a yoga website, so I am not sure of the validity of that statement.
Other commenters had similarly positive things to say, though. One said, “yoga has helped me immensely throughout the years with my seizures. I’ve had seizures for over 14 yrs (age 28 now) and my doctor first recommend I try yoga bc the stress of college was bringing seizures on weekly. I used to have multiple seizures a month,after starting yoga and continuing it over the years I only have 3-4 a year. I used to take 16 pills a day for epilepsy, now I only take 4! Not only has yoga
been helpful for reducing my stress levels, it has also been very good at helping me feel in control of my body, even when I’m off the yoga mat. It has also been very very good at boosting my confidence, putting me in a happy state of mind and helping flush out any fear or anger I have towards my disability. Ultimately it has helped me with self- love, which was extremely lacking before I started practicing yoga on a daily basis.”