Yoga and Anxiety

April 5, 2023

Yoga vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety in Older Adults: What New Research Says

Shanie Matthews

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Yoga therapy is showing itself in research as a leading solution for those suffering from anxiety.

Anxiety is a common concern among older adults. It’s associated with increased risks of cognitive decline, morbidity, and mortality. Hence, effective therapies are essential for improving their quality of life. Recently, a study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry proved that yoga is just as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety in older adults.

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The Research

The study had 500 participants. Divided into two parts, it included a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and a preference trial. All participants were age 60 years or older and underwent a 10-week therapy program. At 11 weeks, all participants showed significant improvement in anxiety and worry. Even more impressive point, 6 months after both interventions ended participants continued to show improvement.

This study’s findings are significant since the perception of anxiety symptoms as a mild condition that doesn’t have any significant impact on an individual’s life is still prevalent in the medical community. This misperception leads to dire consequences if anxiety is left unaddressed in older adults. While CBT is often considered the gold standard for psychotherapy, the efficacy of yoga as an alternative therapy for anxiety is powerful and promising.

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Yoga as a Choice for Anxiety

Offering a choice between CBT and yoga helps more people get the support they need. In the study, more people chose yoga than CBT. Additionally, the study’s lead author, Suzanne C. Danhauer, PhD, of Wake Forest School of Medicine, highlighted the importance of choosing the therapy that suits each individual best.

Yoga therapy’s holistic approach can address physical, emotional, and mental health conditions simultaneously, making it an excellent choice for older adults. Unlike a regular yoga class, yoga therapy is personalized to meet each individual’s unique needs. It’s also often used as a complementary therapy alongside other conventional treatments.

In conclusion, the study’s findings support the use of yoga therapy as an effective and promising treatment for anxiety in older adults. If you’re an older adult struggling with anxiety, it’s essential to seek professional support and choose the therapy that best suits your needs. A personalized yoga therapy program can be the answer you’re looking for, helping you improve your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety, consider using yoga therapy to help you regain peace. Book a free fifteen minute consultation to learn how I can help.

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