A new study has shed light on a potential complementary therapy for RA, highlighting the positive effects of yoga.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that results in the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues, can cause joint inflammation, pain, and, over time, even lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. A new study has shed light on a potential complementary therapy for RA, highlighting the positive effects of yoga.
This study, published in Scientific Reports, explored the impact of yoga on molecular factors associated with RA, such as the modulation of T cell subsets, T cell aging markers, epigenetic alterations, and transcription factors.
The results were promising, showing that eight weeks of practicing yoga had a significant impact on the disease. It not only lowered disease activity but also stabilized inflammation-related biomarkers and maintained Th17/Treg cell homeostasis.
The significance of this research is that it delved into the molecular mechanisms by which yoga could alleviate RA symptoms. This goes beyond merely providing symptomatic relief and investigates how yoga affects the immune system, specifically addressing the Th17/Treg cell balance, a crucial aspect disrupted in RA.
While more research is needed to further understand the specific elements of yoga most effective in treating RA, this study could open the door for healthcare professionals to recommend yoga as a complementary treatment alongside standard disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
The study offers molecular evidence supporting yoga as an adjunct to standard care. This development could lead to healthcare providers suggesting yoga programs as part of the treatment plan for RA patients.
To cater to individuals with RA, gentle styles of yoga are recommended, with the possibility of adapting and modifying other yoga styles using props under the guidance of a qualified yoga therapist or instructor. Some yoga styles suitable for RA patients include Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Yin yoga, restorative yoga, and chair yoga.
Additionally, experts emphasize the importance of incorporating mindfulness and meditation into yoga practice, as these elements have been shown to lower physical biomarkers associated with stress. Stress reduction can be particularly beneficial for RA patients, as it can impact immune regulation and the risk of flares.
This study provides valuable insights into how yoga, when practiced mindfully and with appropriate modifications, can positively impact RA symptoms.
It not only offers relief but also addresses the underlying molecular factors associated with the condition, potentially enhancing the overall quality of life for those living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Remember, before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have RA, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to ensure that yoga is a safe and suitable addition to your treatment plan.