PTSD may be caused due to a variety of traumatic events like natural disasters, abuse, accidents and war as well. The effects of this disorder may include elevated anxiety, certain personality changes and intrusive memories. An individual who is suffering from such disorders often has the tendency to get angry and be on guard at all times. The current treatment procedure for relieving a person from stress often involves the use of certain medications that are complemented with psychotherapy.

Yoga has always been on the top of the list of every patient who is looking to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. Yoga helps in reducing the levels of anxiety, depression and alcoholism. Yoga also has been helpful in calming the mind of cancer patients and tsunami survivors.

How Yoga Can Improve PTSD Symptoms?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be considered as a condition that facilitates immense suffering. The people who are exposed to more than one stressful event and have episodes of continuous flashbacks are often referred by this condition. The symptoms of PTSD include higher level of anxiety known as hyper arousal as well as numbing the memories that are related to the event.

The physical discomfort that is caused involves fatigue, muscle and chest pain, sleep deprivation, urinary infections, headaches and much more. Other symptoms involve lack of motivation, nightmares, anger, restlessness and irritability. The behavioral manifestations can lead to the under or over eating and alcohol abuse as well.

Other than this, the various events that involve death, injury and self threatening can cause PTSD Symptoms. This may often lead to various risk factors like violence and crime. Children have chances of developing PTSD if they have been mobbed or bullied. At such times, the body reacts to this situation in a harsh and is often in a fight or flight mode.

When in a traumatic situation, the pupils get dilated, impulses accelerate, and awareness of pain diminishes. When a person is subjected to such repetitive events, all such symptoms are reduced in an unusual manner. The body and mind are in a constant complex state and cannot revive from it completely. A similar phenomenon can occur with everyone, but with PTSD sufferers, it is a lot more.

Yoga has always been helpful in relieving any amount of stress and manages the balance between body as well as mind. Various principles are involved in Yoga, which help in identifying and disclosing various mysteries that are related to the stressful events.

Ancient studies that relate to Yoga has described that the mind tends to develop stress, if it wanders between the past and the present constantly. When we merely sit and think about the instances that are disturbing the mind, we are set in a loop about the past memories and think what the future has to unfold. This phenomenon is intensified in the people who are suffering from PTSD and at times, it can become quite complicated as well.

When the mind is busy thinking about past events, it can trigger various feelings like guilt, remorse, frustration, anger and fear as well. This in turn forces the mind to take a leap into the future and often leads to anxiety. There might be good experiences in the past, but the mind always has the tendency to be stuck with negative aspects.

The initial step in any yoga practice is to connect the body and mind through breathing patterns. This can be done by bringing an awareness of the present moment. By practicing yoga regularly, the mind can be set calm and the level of anxiety can be brought down as well. By doing so, the mind is surrounded by positive thoughts and you enter into a transformative form. When practiced regularly and under the guidance of a yoga teacher, the body can be kept in peace and the stress levels can be minimized as well.

Yoga Poses for PTSD Sufferers:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can bring chaos into a person's life and must be dealt carefully. Apart from relying on medication and therapy, yoga can be helpful in relieving the bodily stresses. Yoga is an ancient technique which works to develop the correlation between the body and mind. This will help in finding a cure for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The following yoga procedures will help in de-stressing the body:

Yoga Poses for PTSD

Kapalbhati Pranayama or Skull Shining Breathing Technique for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

This breathing technique will help in improving the blood circulation and energize the central nervous system as well. Pranayama is extremely helpful for those who suffer from PTSD. It helps in rejuvenating the brain cells and is essential for mind uplifting.

Tadasana or The Mountain Pose Helps Reduce Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

Mountain pose is essential in eliminating the fatigue and stress levels. This posture helps in bringing down the stress levels of a PTSD sufferer. It also,

  • Promotes digestion in a healthy way and waste elimination
  • Grants a complete relaxation and rejuvenation
  • Gets rid of dullness and depression
  • Synchronizes the body and mind
  • Elevates the energy levels and makes a person enthusiastic.

Konasana or Standing Sideways Bending One-Arm Pose for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

Like Tadasana, Konasana or Standing Sideways Bending One-Arm Pose has a similar effect on the body and mind. This pose when practiced regularly will help in keeping down the stress levels.

Marjariasana or The Cat Pose To Relax Mind and Reduce Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

Marjariasana or Cat Pose is simplest yoga pose and helps in regulating the blood circulation. This plays a vital role in mind relaxation. It also:

  • Improves the process of digestion by rubbing the entire system
  • Tones the muscles of the abdomen
  • Advances the process of digestion
  • Soothes the mind
  • Perks up the blood circulation

Setubandhasana or The Bridge Pose for PTSD:

Setubandhasana or Bridge pose helps in calming the brain by reducing the level of depression, stress and anxiety. For all the PTSD sufferers, this yoga posture proves to be effective. Also it:

  • Soothes the central nervous system by calming the brain
  • Encourages the performance of abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid glands
  • Helps in improving the digestion
  • Relieves the menopause symptoms
  • Decreases headache and backache
  • Brings down the level of depression, anxiety and treats insomnia
  • Relaxes tired feet
  • Alleviates the high blood pressure and asthma symptoms
  • Beneficial for sinusitis, hypertension and osteoporosis

Shavasana or The Corpse Pose for PTSD:

This resting pose is known as the corpse pose and helps in repairing the body tissues. This posture works excellently in bringing down the level of anxiety and blood pressure in people suffering from PTSD.

  • It helps in releasing tension, depression, fatigue and stress.
  • Reduces anxiety, insomnia and blood pressure.
  • Soothes the mind for improving the nervous system stability.
  • Is essential for improving the circulation of blood.
  • Useful for the sufferers of diabetes, constipation, neurological problem, indigestion and asthma.
  • Elevates concentration levels
  • Treats insomnia
  • Great for muscle relaxation.

Overcoming the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is easier if you are taking regular medication and practicing yoga on a daily basis. Always choose to have a positive outlook towards things that surround you. Rely on your friends and family as this will keep you motivated. Yoga renders calmness of body and mind along with other health benefits. However, they cannot be substituted for medicines. A professional and trained guidance is extremely important for practicing yoga.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 11, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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