Stress is commonly known as one of the main triggers for psoriasis, where people with depression tend to have more frequent flare-ups . If that is the case, does it mean that deep relaxation techniques that reduce stress, such as yoga, can help your psoriasis condition?
In recent years, there has been numerous studies conducted on the stress-relieving effects and health benefits of yoga2. Thanks to advanced technologies such as imaging techniques and blood sampling methods, studies has been able to show that doing exercises like yoga can help regulate brain chemistry3, causing a profound calming effect on our nervous system4.
The practice of yoga involves the combination of stretching, breathing and meditation. This helps reduce levels of stress chemicals, such as cortisol5 and adrenaline2, and increases the production of the feel-good chemicals, such as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin and dopamine5.
Hence, for someone who is living with Psoriasis, practicing yoga can be a way to reduce stress that can trigger a flare-up.
Furthermore, some of the studies show that people who regularly perform yoga tend to have a more positive attitude and optimistic view towards their life6. They might even have a higher pain tolerance7, sleep better, and have a better quality of life, which definitely improves their health, as well as their condition6.
For those who are living with psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory disease that affects people with psoriasis8, practicing yoga has also been found to help9. As psoriatic arthritis affects the joints8, many people who are suffering from it has claimed that yoga was able to help them reduce joint pain and improve flexibility, while lowering stress levels9.
While yoga has been shown to help, those who are living with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis should always consult a medical professional before committing to a new routine. After all, what is the point of practicing yoga, when you have something else to worry about.
This article was inspired by Skin to Live In
1Stress and quality of life in psoriasis: an update. Basavaraj KH1, Navya MA, Rashmi R. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Jul;50(7):783-92. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21699511
2Can Yoga Help Your Skin Problems? Studies Say Yes. Sheila Jalalat, M.D. · November 3, 2015. http://www.dermstore.com/blog/yoga-benefits-on-skin/
3Effects of yoga on the autonomic nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and allostasis in epilepsy, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Streeter CC1, Gerbarg PL, Saper RB, Ciraulo DA, Brown RP. Med Hypotheses. 2012 May;78(5):571-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22365651
4The Scientific Basis Of Yoga Therapy, Dr Timothy McCall. Yoga Journal http://www.yogajournal.com/article/teach/the-scientific-basis-of-yoga-therapy/
5Penetrating Postures: The Science of Yoga. Alice G Walton. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2011/06/16/penetrating-postures-the-science-of-yoga/#33226d696722
6Exploring the Health Benefits of Yoga: A Review. Theresa A. Schreiber, Brandi S. Niemeier. World Journal of Medical Research Volume No 6. http://www.npplweb.com/wjmr/fulltext/2/1#ref1
7Yoga for anxiety and depression. Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
8What Is Psoriatic Arthritis? – National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis.org. (2020). Retrieved 18 June 2020, from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis.
9Yoga and Tai Chi for Psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation https://www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/yoga-and-tai-chi