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Scientific Research

Yoga Nidra Relaxation On Mental Health

Impact Of Yoga In Daily Life ® Yoga Nidra Relaxation On Mental Health Of Breast Cancer Patients:

Pilot study using randomized control study design


Tine Kovačič, Head of Medicine and rehabilitation department of CUDV Dobrna




Aim: Through many studies investigators have identified the potential benefits and possible mechanisms of action of relaxation training modalities on breast cancer’s psychological morbidity. Many women with breast cancer have entered the political arena largely because they questioned current treatment and research approaches. The inevitable question that arises is whether there are viable options for the breast cancer patient other than these traditional routes described. The growing demand for holistic approach to breast cancer care requires a research programme to evaluate scientifically these previously untested modes of relaxations for the breast cancer patients. Increasing consumer interest in and use of relaxation training, the current cost-driven health care system, and the need for evidence-based practice all support the need for research in the development and delivery of complementary interventions.


Methodology: The efficacy of relaxation training according to Yoga In Daily Life system® (YIDL ®), was validated by true experimental study design in order to be used as an integral part of competent, comprehensive physiotherapy care. The purpose of this pilot study was to gather information on the immediate and short-term effects of relaxation training according to YIDL® on the psychological distress, anxiety, stress and self-esteem of breast cancer patients. The convenience sample of 32 breast cancer patients was recruited from accessible population of hospitalised women at Institute for Oncology of Ljubljana. Patients were randomised to the experimental (N=16) and to the control group, (N=16). Both groups received the same standard physiotherapy for 1 week, while the experimental group additionally received a group relaxation training sessions according to YIDL® system. An experimental repeated measures design was used to investigate the differences over 1 month period in stress levels, changes in mental health and psychological parameters.


Results: The results indicated that compared to baseline measurements, after receiving relaxation training the patients in experimental group (yoga relaxation) showed significant reductions in psychological distress and selfperceived stress. The most striking findings were that patients in the experimental group reported a significant reduction (p<0.0005) in state and trait anxiety. There was also a statistically significant trend (p<0.0005) toward higher self-esteem. Patients who received relaxation training reported feeling significantly less anxious and distressed during hospitalisation and after discharge-period than did the controls that did not receive relaxation training.


Conclusion: The results indicate that relaxation training according to YIDL® system could be useful clinical physiotherapy intervention for breast cancer patients experiencing psychological distress.