Study says: 12 minutes of daily yoga can reduce caregiver stress

Enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square.
Enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square.
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Caring for a loved one who has dementia can be incredibly stressful, and coping with that stress is critical to both the caregiver and the person receiving care.

But a recent UCLA study suggests that 12 minutes of Yoga meditation and chanting a day may offer caregivers relief, especially those with the taxing job of looking after Alzheimer's patients.

It’s estimated that more than five million Americans provide care for someone with dementia. Typically, the caregiver is a spouse, son, daughter, relative or friend. And researchers say that for these people fear, exhaustion and depression are just side effects of the job.

Forty-nine family caregivers took part in UCLA's study.

Half joined a meditation group and engaged in a daily 12 minute chanting and meditation, while the other half simply relaxed and listened to music.

The group that meditated had significantly lower stress and depression levels in addition to improved memory and learning abilities. Participants even showed a reduction in cellular aging caused by stress.

The report appears in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.