Yes, Yoga can help patients with bipolar disorder. But before we look at what Yoga can do to stabilize the condition, let’s understand what bipolar disorder is all about. It is an extreme form of depression, which is characterized by periods of giddy happiness and high energy, followed by periods of extreme lethargy and depression. The latter phase can lead to anxiousness, suicidal tendencies and low self-esteem.
While most people suffering from bipolar disorder need to consult a doctor and should take proper medication, Yoga can complement the treatment and have a positive impact on the patient.
* Yoga affects some parts of the brain, which can induce relaxation and can raise serotonin levels that can enhance one’s mood. Yoga also elevates the gamma-aminobutyric (the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter) levels in the brain, which again combats depression.
* Several studies have shown that choosing Yoga as a complementary treatment can reduce depression, anxiety, anger and neurotic symptoms.
* Yoga, when paired with medication and therapy, can stabilize the mood of patients suffering from bipolar disorders. While medication controls mania, Yoga helps in controlling anxiety.
* Yoga helps patients with bipolar disorders get in touch with their own bodies. It makes them more aware of their mood swings and helps them control some of their manic tendencies. It also manages stress and helps to relax the mind. Meditation, Yoga asanas/postures and breathing exercises can decrease the anxiety levels and enhances the mood.
* Every patient suffering from bipolar disorder requires a different treatment. For instance, a patient who suffers from excessive agitation and anxiety may need to focus on stationary asanas or Yoga techniques like Shavasana (dead man’s pose), in which the emphasis is on breathing. Thus, it’s important for every patient to work with professional Yoga instructors, who can guide them through the right set of Yoga asanas.
* Apart from Yoga, an intake of vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids can help patients with bipolar disorders. Patients have often been found to have low levels of vitamin B – this vitamin is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. Bipolar symptoms can also be relieved by taking amino acids such as Omega-3, inositol and chromium.
* Hypnotherapy is another alternative therapy that combats bipolar disorders. Through hypnotherapy, a hypnotist can often find out what really triggers off the depression, and once the triggers are known, the patient can avoid them. Thus, reducing the stress and depression.
Thus, bipolar disorders can be treated with the right medication and Yoga and other complementary therapies.