Yoga Therapy for Epilepsy

Seizure, occasionally referred to as a fit, is defined as a transient symptom of “abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain”. The outward effect can be as dramatic as a wild thrashing movement or as mild as a brief loss of awareness.

The medical syndrome of recurrent, unprovoked seizures is termed epilepsy. The World Health Organization estimates that around 50 million people in the world have epilepsy

Yoga Therapy

Epilepsy is caused out of unexpected storm or hyperactivity of the brain cells.

The purpose of practice of asana and pranayama is to develop control over the body and the mind. Asana prepares the entire physical functioning of the body, while pranayama improves the physiology of the body.

Asana stretches the nerves system and pranayama oxygenates the brain which ultimately controls and stabilise the brain cells from getting too excited.

Standing poses can easily be appreciated as all the asanas work mainly on the spinal muscles and nerves. Forward bends have a soothing effect on sympathetic nervous system. The cranial nerves are completely relaxed and there is tremendous passivity on the muscles of the face. Backbends stimulate the entire nervous system.

The most important effects on the nervous system is given by the inverted poses. Headstand relaxes and strengthens the neurons of the brain at once.

The role of pranayama on the nervous system is very important. Fluctuations of the brain cells cause a variation in the respiratory rate. Hence, if the brain cells are kept at optimum quietness, breathing is relaxed.

When the prana is controlled, the mind and the brain are kept under control. Electrophysiological silence has occurred in the brain cells, and as a matter of fact, biochemistry is stabilised. When the respiratory rate changes, relaxation occurs.

Yoga is increasingly becoming a focal point of therapy and research in treating epileptic seizure disorders. It offers an ancient, yet amazingly modern approach to treating seizures.

As therapy, the physical discipline of yoga seeks to re-establish a balance (union) between those aspects of a person’s health that cause seizures.

Research found that meditation improved the brain wave activity of people with seizure disorders leading to a reduction in seizures. It is found that patients who learned to control their breathing had an improvement in their seizure frequency.

The art and science of yoga is being discovered anew as a valuable approach to exercise self-control of seizures.