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New study suggests yoga and meditation can aid covid-19 treatment. But can it really?

Published on:15 July 2020, 15:21pm IST
Yoga and meditation have a lot of good to give but can they also be the guiding lights for covid-19? Let’s figure that out
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Can covid-19 bow down to yoga and meditation? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Yoga and meditation… isn’t this the best duo ever? Whatever your goal might be—then be it staying fit or mental well-being—these two can do it for you. And now when everyone is talking about immunity during the covid-19 pandemic, the relevance of yoga and meditation has again come into focus. More and more people are trying these methods to boost and improve their immune system; but the big question remains: can these holistic practices really protect you from covid-19?

According to Dr Kunal Shah (M.D.), a homeopathy expert who runs his own clinic in Mumbai, there is no denying that yoga and meditation can boost your immunity. But if someone is covid-19 positive, then curing that person with yoga and meditation is something which needs more research and evidence.

He says: “Like other Ayurvedic remedies that are being touted as a cure for covid-19, these are just ways to prepare you to fight coronavirus. But once you get infected, you need to get whatever medical intervention is required. Even if you practice yoga and meditation regularly.”

Contrary to Dr Shah’s views, a new study in the journal JACM (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) that says the anti-inflammatory and other beneficial effects of meditation and yoga practices make them potential adjunctive treatments of covid-19.

So, is that a yes for yoga? Let’s find out.

Let yoga nudge your immune system to work more efficiently. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The research also says that yoga has a lot to do with boosting immunity
Deepak Chopra from the University of California, San Diego, William Bushell from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and co-authors from Harvard University and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health described the anti-inflammatory effects associated with meditation and yoga in their paper.

They wrote: “There is evidence of stress and inflammation modulation, and also preliminary evidence for possible forms of immune system enhancement, accompanying the practice of certain forms of meditation, yoga, and pranayama, along with potential implications for counteracting some forms of infectious challenges.”

The authors also “readily acknowledge that in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the ideas put forth in this article must be put to further rigorous scientific investigation.”

“The paper is another in a series in JACM and in other integrative medicine journals suggesting that research agencies in the United States and Europe would serve their citizens by upping their exploration of the potential contributions of natural health practices, especially amidst the present dearth of conventional treatments,” said JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks. 

The takeaway?
When it comes to yoga and meditation the best you are going to get is a rock-solid immunity. But here is no literature as of now which says that yoga and meditation can actually help in treating covid-19. It can, however, boost your mental health which has probably been taking a hit since the lockdown hit. 

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So all in all, indulge in yoga and meditation and keep your physical and mental health in check; but don’t forget to take other measures (like wearing a mask and social distancing) that can actually help you stay safe from covid-19. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.