Yoga and meditation beneficial in treating glaucoma, arthritis: Experts

Yoga and meditation show positive effects as additional therapies for glaucoma, mitochondrial issues and rheumatoid arthritis, claimed experts from AIIMS, Delhi. 

Published: 22nd June 2021 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2021 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

Morning walkers perform yoga on the occasion of Yoga day at Lodhi garden in New Delhi

Morning walkers perform yoga on the occasion of Yoga day at Lodhi garden in New Delhi. (Photo| Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Yoga and meditation show positive effects as additional therapies for glaucoma, mitochondrial issues and rheumatoid arthritis, claimed experts from AIIMS, Delhi. Tanuj Dada and Karthikeyan Mahalingam from the Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS said that meditation had been proved to work in glaucoma as an additional therapy in a study on patients at the institution.

The researchers said that meditation worked as adjuvant therapy in glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure, enhancing cerebral blood flow, reversing autonomic dysfunction (damage to nerves that control involuntary body functions), decreasing oxidative stress (an imbalance that impacts the body's ability to detoxify), preventing mitochondrial dysfunction (a condition that hampers cell viability), decreasing inflammation, improving the quality of life, modulating wound healing and modifying other associated systemic diseases.

Dr Rima Dada from AIIMS noted that 8-weeks of yoga practice leads to an upregulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels indicating an increase in mitochondrial bioenergetics and functions. "NAD+ is a central metabolic cofactor that plays a critical role in biological processes including energy homeostasis, DNA repair, gene expression and calcium-dependent secondary messenger signalling. Our results showed an improvement in the mitochondrial membrane potential after yoga practice, indicating an improvement in the mitochondrial functioning and viability," she said. Yoga has also been proven to be beneficial for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 

"After 8-weeks of yoga, there were beneficial effects on the psycho-neuroimmune axis in RA patients. Yoga is one such safe and effective mind-body therapy to improve physical functions along with stress reduction. Yoga aids in the amelioration of mental stress and depression by improving the feeling of perceived well-being and brings about structural and functional changes in the brain by increasing expression of genes which promote neuroplasticity," Dr Rima noted.

Make yoga daily routine: Lt Governor, CM

L-G Anil Baijal and CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday appealed to people to make yoga a part of their daily life. Extending greetings on the International Yoga Day, Baijal said yoga has more significance amid COVID-19 times and it can boost immunity and mental health.

"Yoga has more significance in this time of COVID 19. We can boost immunity along with ensuring mental health through its regular practice. Let us make Yoga a daily part of our life," Baijal tweeted. In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "Let us pledge on the occasion of International Yoga Day to make Yoga a part of our daily routine."

Special sessions for policepersons

The Delhi Police on Monday organised special yoga sessions for its personnel deployed across various units on the occasion of seventh International Yoga Day.

Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava posted pictures of him and his wife performing different 'asanas'. "I did my daily Yoga today morning at home. My wife too joined me to observe the 'Yoga Day'," he tweeted from his official Twitter handle.

A special yoga session was carried out at the Singhu border where personnel from the Delhi Police and Central Armed Police Forces units deployed performed various postures, a senior officer said.

Inmates perform yoga in prisons

Over 1,500 inmates across three jail complexes in the national capital performed yoga on Monday morning on International Day of Yoga, officials said. A senior jail official said prisoners from Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli gathered in the common area maintaining social distancing norms.

The trained inmates and staff lead the session which took place between 7 am to 9 am, the official said. The Director General (Prison) said, "We organized a magic show and a tug-of-war competition along with the yoga session in jail number 5 while maintaining proper social distancing."


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