Continuous practice of Yoga and meditation can help one to reduce the need for healthcare services by 43%, says a new study by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute.
“Our study’s primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response can also dramatically reduce health care utilization,” said James E Stahl, senior scientist at MGH Institute for Technology Assessment.
“These programs promote wellness and in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk,” he said.
According to the study, yoga practitioners primarily benefited from neurological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal ailments.
It also found that since yoga evokes a relaxation response or puts one in a psychological state of deep rest, alleviates stress and anxiety, it also affects the heart rate and blood pressure.
For the study, a comparative analysis of information available on Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) of Partners HealthCare and data on individuals participating in the BHI Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) from 2006 to 2014 was carried out.
Researchers studied how a relaxation response was evoked with the help of social support, cognitive skills training and positive psychology designed to build resilience.
“Mind-body interventions such as 3RP have the potential to substantially reduce health care utilization at relatively low cost and thus can serve as key components in any population health and health care delivery system,” the study concluded.