Using the biopsychosocial model to understand the health benefits of yoga

Evans, Subhadra, Tsao, Jennie C. I., Sternlieb, Beth and Zeltzer, Lonnie K. 2009, Using the biopsychosocial model to understand the health benefits of yoga, Journal of complementary and integrative medicine, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-22, doi: 10.2202/1553-3840.1183.

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Title Using the biopsychosocial model to understand the health benefits of yoga
Author(s) Evans, SubhadraORCID iD for Evans, Subhadra
Tsao, Jennie C. I.
Sternlieb, Beth
Zeltzer, Lonnie K.
Journal name Journal of complementary and integrative medicine
Volume number 6
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2009-04
ISSN 1553-3840
Summary Yoga is widely practiced as a means to promote physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. While a number of studies have documented the efficacy of yoga for functioning in healthy individuals and those experiencing illness or pain, biopsychosocial effects have not been detailed. We propose an analogue between the physical, psychological and spiritual effects of practice as espoused in yoga traditions, and the biopsychosocial model of health. To this end, we present a review and conceptual model of the potential biopsychosocial benefits of yoga, which may provide clues regarding the possible mechanisms of action of yoga upon well-being. Physical systems activated through yoga practice include musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, autonomic nervous system and endocrine functioning. Psychological benefits include enhanced coping, self-efficacy and positive mood. Spiritual mechanisms that can be understood within a Western medical model include acceptance and mindful awareness. We present empirical evidence that supports the involvement of these domains. However, additional well-conducted research is required to further establish the efficacy of yoga for health states, and to understand how posture, breath and meditative activity affect the body, mind and spirit.
Language eng
DOI 10.2202/1553-3840.1183
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
1104 Complementary And Alternative Medicine
0607 Plant Biology
1115 Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009, The Berkeley Electronic Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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