Patients with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, often relapse at times of stress. In a clinical trial of 77 ulcerative colitis patients who were in clinical remission but were experiencing reduced quality of life, those assigned to 12 supervised 90-minute weekly sessions of yoga had a greater increase in quality of life and reduced activity of their colitis compared with those who were given written self-care advice.
The findings suggest that regular yoga may be a valuable adjunct to conventional medical therapies for ulcerative colitis.
"Many people use yoga to increase their quality of life. Our study suggests that it might be worthwhile to consider yoga as part of a multimodal integrative approach for treating ulcerative colitis," said Prof. Holger Cramer, lead author of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics study.