A holistic way involving yoga and herbal medicines can to tackle psychological disorders, according to researchers at the Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar.
The researchers subjected 60 patients of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to a combination of yoga, pranayam, recitation of Gayatri Mantra and herbal medicines. The highly revered Gayatri Mantra is based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rig Veda.
The 60 participants were equally divided into males and females. They got 45 individual sessions of therapeutic interventions of holistic approach. Each session was of 60 minutes, with patients doing pranayam and Gayatri Mantra for 10 minutes each and yoga for 20 minutes.
The most widely utilized treatments now are pharmacological management and behavior modification, said an article in the first issue of the Dev Sanskriti University's Interdisciplinary International Journal.
A major disadvantage of drug treatment for anxiety disorders was that the relapse rate was very high, said researchers Deepak Singh, Pranav Pandya, O.P. Mishra and Pragya S. Lodhi.
Pandya is the chancellor of the university. Mishra is the Emeritus Professor of psychology while Deepak Singh and Pragya Singh are assistant professors in the department of psychology.
The "holistic approach produced significant reduction in the level of OCD", said the research paper.
"The combination of these specific techniques has collective effect on the patients and causes significant reduction in the symptoms of OCD," the university said.
"Thus, the holistic approach can provide a new strategy for management of OCD. The findings are an important exploration with wide scope for further research and applications," it said.
The paper also said some of the medicines in the market "cause many side effects" and approximately 90 percent of patients suffer a relapse if they discontinue medication.
It said a new holistic approach was developed to provide maximum relief to the patients.
"The holistic approach is based on the principle of psychology, yoga and Ayurveda (besides Gayatri Mantra recitation)," the journal said.
According to the researchers, the nature of psychological disorder "is very complex and it is very difficult to understand and diagnose psychological disorder until it manifests itself in behavior".
OCD is a common and often chronic and disabling disorder, the paper said. It is said to be one of the least understood, least diagnosed, and most disabling of the anxiety disorders.
The worldwide prevalence of OCD is two percent of the general population. It usually begins in adolescence or in early adulthood.