The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Benefits of yoga in firefighters

    FirefighterPerhaps it defies your mental image of firefighters, but researchers from The City University of New York report their findings.

    First, the details.

    • 108 firefighters participated in yoga classes during work, in their fire stations over 6 weeks.
    • The classes included pranayama (breathing), asana (postures), and savasana (relaxation).
    • Most were physically active but had no prior experience with yoga.

    And, the results.

    • 77 participants completed the study.
    • There was significant improvement in the Functional Movement Screen, a 7-item test that measures functional fitness.
    • Improvements were also noted in trunk flexibility and perceived stress.
    • Participants also reported favorable perceptions of yoga: feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain.

    The bottom line?

    This appears to be the first study of yoga in this group of workers. Considering that about 1 in 3 failed to complete the study, the biggest challenge appears to be in getting firefighters to participate long-term.

    Otherwise, the findings “indicate that participants benefited from yoga,” concluded the authors.

    12/20/09 14:09 JR

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