Conditions Improved By Yoga, Self Reported – from “Yoga As Medicine” Book by Timothy McCall, M.D.

As I am getting deeper and deeper into one of the books that we are to read for the YogaFit Therapy course, I am amazed at all the benefits of a regular yoga practice can do for folks. And I’m a yoga teacher. (The more you teach yoga, it seems the more you want to know….and need to know!)

Please read on for more information about “Yoga as Medicine” by Timothy McCall, M.D.  at ~Gail Pickens-Barger, E-RYT.

Yoga appears to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions. In Timothy McCall, M.D. Book, “Yoga As Medicine”, he goes on to say: We’ll be reviewing the scientific evidence later but, for now, let’s see what people who’ve tried therapeutic yoga have to say. In 1983 – 84, the London-based Yoga Biomedical Trust, run by Robin Monro, PhD, surveyed twenty-seven hundred (2,700) people, most between the ages of thirty-one and sixty, who used yoga therapeutically. To be included, participants had to have practiced yoga for at least two hours a week for a year or longer.

Though the number of people with some of the conditions in question was small, the results (see the table below, and in Dr. McCall’s book, Table 1.1) were impressive:

  • 98 percent of back-pain sufferers found yoga helpful
  • 90 percent of cancer patients
  • 82 percent of people with insomnia
  • and 100 percent of alcoholics

The lowest success rate in the survey was for women with “menstrual problems,” two out of three of whom found that yoga helped.

Table 1.1 Conditions Improved by Yoga, Self-Reported

Medical Condition    Number of         Percentage Helped
                    People Reporting       By Yoga 

  Alcoholism               24                   100%
  Anxiety                 838                    94%
  Arthritis &
  Rheumatic Disorders     589                    90%
  Asthma or Bronchitis    226                    88%
  Back Disorders        1,142                    98%
  Cancer                   29                    90%
  Diabetes                 10                    80%
  Duodenal Ulcers          40                    90%
  Heart Disease            50                    94%
  Hemorrhoids             391                    88%
  High Blood Pressure     150                    84%
  Insomnia                542                    82%
  Menopausal Disorders    247                    83%
  Menstrual Problems      317                    68%
  Migraine                464                    80%
  Neurological &
  Neuromuscular Diseases  112                    96%
  Obesity                 240                    74%
  Premenstrual Syndrome   848                    77%
  Smoking                 219                    74%

Source: The Yoga Biomedical Trust, London

Imagine how much you’d be hearing about a new drug that could accomplish even a fraction of this. Nevertheless, (it is Dr. Timothy McCall’s) it’s my experience that few in the medical community or the general public have any conception of what yoga has to offer. Part of the problem, I’m convinced, is that many people who could benefit from yoga shy away due to misconceptions about what it is and isn’t, or who can do it and who shouldn’t.

Those subjects to be addressed in a different post.

Published by Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

YOGA WITH GAIL | Ease Chronic Pain + Increase Mobility phone: (409)-727-3177 | email: |

One thought on “Conditions Improved By Yoga, Self Reported – from “Yoga As Medicine” Book by Timothy McCall, M.D.

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