Just 2 months of yoga can help patients with Parkinson’s improve their posture and ability to walk
10/01/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Among the many health benefits of yoga, research has found that it can also help improve the lives of people with Parkinson's disease, a condition that affects a person's posture and ability to walk. The study, which was published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, revealed that joining an eight-week Hatha yoga program can improve the stability of posture and ability to walk, and reduce the risk of falling down in patients with Parkinson's.

Many studies have shown that yoga can improve balance, alignment of the body, fitness, endurance, relaxation, and mental health. Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that combines mind and body in a series of postures with breathing. It stimulates the mind to be more aware of where the body is in space.

In the study, the researchers aimed to determine the effects of yoga on motor function, posture stability, and balance control of people with Parkinson's. The participants attended group yoga classes which were led by a certified yoga therapist twice a week for eight weeks. The yoga classes were composed of modified yoga postures and breathing that involved sitting, standing, and supine positions.

After eight weeks, the participants experienced improvements in mobility, balance, and stability, which decreased their risk of falling down. These improvements are significant because more than 70 percent of people with Parkinson's disease fall down within a given year, according to estimates.

The researchers concluded that practicing yoga can help improve the mobility, balance, and stability of people suffering from Parkinson's, reducing their risk of falls.


Parkinson's disease patients who want to participate in a yoga class should make sure to look for a certified yoga therapist and not a certified yoga teacher. Unlike yoga teachers, yoga therapists have received extra training to better adapt and tailor yoga practice to the needs of individuals with certain health conditions. For those who have problems with mobility, yoga styles like chair yoga may be ideal. (Related: Exercise better than medication at controlling Parkinson’s: Athlete manages his condition with running and now has better quality of life.)

Foods that help manage Parkinson's disease

In addition to exercise, eating the right foods can help manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. This degenerative disease is also accompanied by other symptoms, including digestive problems, urinary problems, depression, fatigue, sleeping problems, sexual dysfunction, changes in voice, and skin problems. Eating the right foods can help manage these symptoms. Here are some foods that can help:

  • Fruits and vegetables – Eating fresh fruits and vegetables will give all the important nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, and more, that cleanse the body. These nutrients play a big part in food digestion and proper functioning of the body.
  • Fermented foods – Fermented foods contain probiotics (good bacteria) that make the gut healthy, which, in turn, prevent diseases and disorders. Beneficial bacteria can be found in foods like kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi, fermented soy, and sauerkraut. These foods also help remove toxins from the body.
  • Foods that improve mood – Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for good mood; therefore, foods that increase dopamine production can improve the brain health of people with Parkinson's. These include eggs, coconut oil, and nuts.
  • Foods rich in B-vitamins  Lack of vitamins B9 and B12 has been associated with anxiety, depression, psychosis, age-related brain degeneration, and memory loss. Eating foods rich in these B-vitamins can help treat and/or prevent these conditions.
  • Foods rich in omega-3s – Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, can increase dopamine levels and reduce inflammation in the brain.

Read more news stories and studies on natural methods to improve brain health by going to Naturopathy.news.

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