What the Research Says...
Yoga & Yoga Therapy
The purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between gut microbiota, meditation, and well-being. The results reveal that corticotropin-releasing hormone and catecholamine production caused by the fight-or-flight response disturbs the microbiota in the gut that regulate inflammation. Meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby mitigating the release of microbiota-disturbing hormones, suppressing states of chronic inflammation, and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function.
This article reviewed existing research; eleven articles, including seven with clinical trials analyzing yoga interventions and evaluating effectiveness by gauging stress levels, sleep quality, and quality of life. The findings were that yoga was found to be effective at improving sleep and reducing stress levels and burnout, and they also suggest that more research with larger sample sizes be done.
For this article, 364 articles were identified, of which 14 met the researchers' criteria for review. They found that forest bathing interventions like forest walking and forest therapy programs "were effective at reducing blood pressure, lowering pulse rate, increasing the power of heart rate variability (HRV), improving cardiac-pulmonary parameters, and metabolic function, inducing a positive mood, reducing anxiety levels, and improving the quality of life of pre-hypertensive or hypertensive participants."