Yoga: Theraputic Medecine
In 1990, Jenny Smith?s mental illness became so severe that she could barely walk or speak. After days of feeling wonderful one moment and hallucinating that spiders and bugs were crawling on her skin the next, she landed in the hospital for the second time that year.
Smith is a victim of bipolar disorder, a possibly hereditary illness characterized by oscillating feelings of elation and utter depression. She had tried 11 different medications for relief, nothing seemed to work. Upon leaving the hospital, Smith was told that she could expect to be in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the rest of her life. Soon after her release, Smith decided to learn hatha yoga, which includes specific postures, meditation and pranayamas, deep abdominal breathing techniques that relax the body. As she practiced daily, Smith noticed that her panic attacks a symptom of panic disorder, a disease that approximately 20% of bipolar disorder sufferers also contend with–were subsiding. She is now a certified yoga instructor, and and now she takes Paxil, an antidepressant that shed taken before without effect, Smiths pattern of severe mood swings seems to have ended. She even taught her 11-year-old daughter–who had experienced panic attacks since
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