University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers recently examined whether yoga could help trauma survivors recover, and they found that while there are some benefits from this treatment that show promise there is not sufficient evidence yet to use yoga alone to improve the mental and physical health of the trauma survivor and further research in this area is needed. The study was performed at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work by researcher Rebecca Macy, Ph.D., who works with survivors of trauma and violence. The goal of the research was to determine whether there was enough scientific evidence to support using yoga only to treat individuals who have PTSD or who suffer from other mental health issues as a result of surviving trauma.
While yoga alone may not be sufficient to help trauma survivors recover completely this treatment method can be very beneficial, especially when added to other effective treatments. The new research study was published in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, and it includes the recommendation that yoga is offered in addition to other treatment methods. Study co-author, certified yoga instructor, and massage therapist Leslie Roach explained “Even though I do think yoga is, in general, incredibly beneficial, I also think there needs to be a whole lot more education about how to use yoga specifically to treat survivors of trauma in order to be the most effective and helpful. So as a stand-alone treatment right now, it’s just not viable. However, I think with more education, more research, and more experienced instructors, it will be.”