Tag Archives: psychological disorders

Yoga for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Yoga meditation outdoor

“When you don’t go within, you go without. ”  – Yogi Bhajan

Science is beginning to prove that Eastern methods of healing such as meditation and yoga are valid ways to address psychological conditions.  Research suggests that breathing exercises and yoga postures can be individualized to address psychological disorders.  Different types of yoga help different disorders.  For example, kundalini yoga has been found to reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (Shannahoff-Khalsa 2006; Shannahoff-Khalsa & Beckett, 1996). Not sure what a kundalini yoga practice entails?  Check out my earlier blog entitled, “What is Kundalini?”

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Mantras are an important element of kundalini yoga techniques.  Yoga philosophy asserts that in the upper palate of the mouth reside 84 meridian points that interact with the tongue when sound is uttered.  When a mantra is repeated the tongue stimulates the points of the upper palate in a certain sequence.  The repeated sequential sequence is transmitted to higher brain centers through the hypothalamus and thalamus, which affects the psyche.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

In a study using an 11-part kundalini yoga protocol the  obsessive-compulsive disorder subjects who participated in yoga showed significant improvements when compared to the control group (Shannahoff-Khalsa, 1997; Shannahoff-Khalsa et al., 1999). The yoga group demonstrated a 62% improvement in mood, whereas the control group declined 2%.  Additionally, the kundalini group had a 48% reduction in stress levels.  Researchers hypothesized that the retention in participants for this year long study came from the rapid relief felt from participating in kundalini yoga therapy.

REFERENCES

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (1997). Yogic techniques are effective in the treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorders. In E. Hollander & D. Stein (Eds.), Obsessive– compulsive disorders: Diagnosis, etiology, and treatment (pp. 283–329). New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (2006). Kundalini yoga meditation: Techniques specific for psy- chiatric disorders, couples therapy, and personal growth. New York, NY: Norton.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D., & Beckett, L. R. (1996). Clinical case report: Efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorders. The International Journal of Neuroscience, 85, 1–17. doi:10.3109/00207459608986347

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Intestines Sketch with Words

 “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

-Voltaire

The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, given the right help.  The downside is nature is super slow.  Correcting nutritional deficits can take months if not years. Dr. Campbell-McBride has developed a nutritional treatment for psychological disorders based on the assumption that the association between physical and mental health, nutrient intake, and the condition of our digestive system is conclusive. This means that by fixing the child’s diet, hence the gut, cognitive and social impairments can be significantly improved.

WHAT IS GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME (GAPS)?

Antibiotic use has a serious damaging effect on the good bacteria in the gut.  This coupled with a diet filled with processed and fast foods give nourishment to pathogens or bad bacteria, which then grow into big colonies and take over areas of the digestive tract.  Yuck!

Gut flora is needed for appropriate digestion and absorption of food.  If the child’s gut flora is not balanced then the child will not digest or absorb foods appropriately, which will result in nutritional deficiencies.  Since gut flora is needed for a good immune system a cycle of infections and antibiotics follow resulting in further damage to the child’s digestive and immune systems. This results in allergies, asthma, and eczema. Additionally, without the good bacteria balancing out the bad bacteria the bad microbes begin to digest food in their own way making vast amounts of toxic substances, which are absorbed into the blood stream, carried across the blood-brain barrier, and into the brain.  Thus, the child’s digestive system becomes a source of toxicity.  This toxicity establishes a link between the gut and the brain forming the Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

HOW IS GAPS TREATED?

Dr. Campbell-McBride holds degrees in medicine and post-graduate degrees in both neurology and nutrition.  Dr. Campbell-McBride has a developed a diet to heal the digestive system.  She stresses eating foods in the form that nature made them.  No processed foods, please! Many of the chemicals in processed foods contribute to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and psychological disorders.  The appropriate diet for GAP syndrome is one that avoids sugar, lactose, processed foods, grains and starchy vegetables.  In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell-McBride goes into great detail about diet and provides wonderful recipes. This book is a little technical, but a fantastic resource for parents.

Campbell-McBride, N. (2004). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment for autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, and schizophrenia. York, Pennsylvania; Maple Press.