According to these study results, yoga complements the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBD).

Twenty-five adolescents aged 11 to 18 years with IBS were randomly assigned to yoga or a wait list control group. Those assigned to yoga received one-hour of instruction, demonstration, and practice. Over the next four weeks they practiced yoga at home with the help of a video.

And the results in the yoga vs the wait list group.

  • Lower levels of functional disability
  • Less use of emotion-focused avoidance
  • Lower anxiety following the intervention
  • Lower scores for gastrointestinal symptoms and emotion-focused avoidance

The bottom line?

  • These adolescents found yoga helped and indicated they would continue to use it to manage their IBS.

Was it the yoga or simply a response to an activity that gave these young people a sense of greater control over their condition? I don’t know, but they concluded that their IBS improved, and that really is the bottom line.

Maybe the researchers will follow-up in six months to see if the commitment to yoga and the improvement last.

12/10/06 10:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.