The ancient spiritual practice of Yoga is the number one, most popular form of alternative physical therapy in the western world — with more than 15 million people practicing Yoga daily in the US alone. Yoga routines — or asanas — are fantastic strength and flexibility builders. They also help bring peace of mind and better overall health.
Using Yoga to treat physical and mental illness dates back to its introduction to America by Swami Vivekananda in the late nineteenth century. It is now used to treat psychological stress, anxiety disorders, as well as physical ailments like heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Practicing Yoga to reduce compulsive finger or skin picking is a relatively new approach to treating the disorder.
How Yoga Can Reduce Your Compulsive Picking
- It Increases Mindfulness — Yoga is usually practiced with slow movements or static poses. Since emphasis is placed on focusing the mind on the body, one can emerge from Yoga practice more clear-headed and aware of all one’s movements throughout the day — especially destructive picking. Increasing awareness may particularly help those for whom boredom is a cause of picking.
- It Increases Serotonin Levels — Most of the popular antidepressant drugs (SSRIs) are based on the premise that increasing serotonin levels in the brain and nervous system contribute to treating not only depression, but also impulse control disorders like compulsive picking. Studies in India have shown that Yoga also stimulates serotonin production. The prescription: more Yoga please!
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