Written by: Meghan Presnell, FNP-C
Let’s face it. With the current political unrest, social change, and terror attacks, we are living in world that could give anyone a little anxiety, right? So it is not surprising that according to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 20% of individuals in the United States suffer from some form of anxiety. This is almost one-third of the annual “burden of disease” cost in the United States, costing us an estimated $42 billion dollars a year in treatment. Yes, billion. Almost half of this number comes from repeat office visits due to concerns about the physical manifestations of this anxiety, whether it be shortness of breath, palpitations, or upset stomach.
So how can you get control of your anxiety? Thankfully treatment has evolved and we now have numerous options to help, including behavioral therapy, medication, or alternative and complementary therapies. Specifically, I want to highlight the efficacy of yoga therapy. Yoga is an ancient practice thousands of years old that encourage the connection of mind and body by combining physical movement, conscious breathing, and meditation. It continues to rise in popularity and is capturing the attention of researchers who are now studying its effects. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), states that yoga is just as effective for anxiety and depression as many forms of medications. An article published in American Family Physician also supports this evidence actually recommending the use mindfulness practice of yoga, recommending its use for anxiety and depression.
As a practitioner of yoga myself, I have experienced its benefits first hand. I often walk into class with my mind racing with the dozens of things on my to-do list, wondering why I signed myself for a yoga class on my day off. When I leave my mat my perspective is a little clearer, my breath a little slower, and my shoulders a bit more relaxed. So I invite you to take a step toward better health by stepping onto your mat with us. Join us at Avance, where we have partnered with Blue Lotus and Results Physical Therapy to provide you with a free yoga class that will be offered the third Thursday of each month, at 6:45 above our Central Raleigh location at Results Physical Therapy.
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.” -Author Unknown