Education for Health

: 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 215-

Yoga: A good way for dentists to relieve stress

Ujwala Rohan Newadkar 
 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, ACPM Dental College, Dhule, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Ujwala Rohan Newadkar
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, ACPM Dental College, Dhule, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Newadkar UR. Yoga: A good way for dentists to relieve stress.Educ Health 2015;28:215-215

How to cite this URL:
Newadkar UR. Yoga: A good way for dentists to relieve stress. Educ Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jan 20 ];28:215-215
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Dear Editor,

Dental professionals are at increased risk for repetitive strain injury due to sustained postures that they assume every working day. They also constantly work under stressful conditions. In most cases, they work in postures that maintain their arms and shoulder girdles in unstable and unsupported positions. This leads to dysfunctional postures of the spine, such as thoracic kyphosis and forward head posture. Therefore, it is important for dentists to work with shoulders stabilized and spine in an optimal position.

Yoga, dating back to 5000 B.C., is a physical and mental activity aimed at achieving self-knowledge, revealing inner essence, fostering a union with the Divine and cosmic consciousness. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word 'yuj', that means link or unite; and although there are about five to seven branches of yoga in the West, the most widely practiced is Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is synthesized by two syllables: 'ha' that means sun and 'tha' which means moon. Literally, Hatha Yoga means the sun–moon union, but it actually refers to the harmonic co-existence of all opposite forces of the universe. It is one of the many different techniques for achieving relaxation.[1] It has its origin in ancient India and originally consisted of a combined system of spiritual, moral and physical practices.[2]

The most central and common aspects of yoga practice today are different bodily postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama)[3] that aim to focus the mind, achieve relaxation and increase wellness.[4] The physical effects are very important: Strengthens and stretches body muscles, improves fitness, oxygenates the body and brain, delivers an anti-stress effect, and boosts cardio–respiratory capacity. Breathing exercises release hormones that relax and dissipate tension, causing a feeling of well-being.

Several studies in medical literature have shown a high incidence of stress and anxiety among medical and dental students. Institutions in developed countries offer various counseling and stress management programs to students to cope with stress. In one study, following a short yoga intervention, students reported improvements in perceived stress and depressive symptoms.[5] The practice of yoga will definitely be helpful for dentists to overcome hectic work schedules. While ongoing research is warranted, we advocate that yoga should be a training component for practicing dentists as well as dental students for the betterment of life.

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1Nagendra HR. Defining yoga. Int J Yoga 2008;1:43-4.
2Neelam S. Effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress. Int J Yoga 2009;2:39-43.
3Monk-Turner E, Turner C. Does yoga shape body, mind and spiritual health and happiness: Differences between yoga practitioners and college students. Int J Yoga 2010;3:48-54.
4Ramos-Jiménez A, Hernández-Torres RP, Wall-Medrano A, Muñoz-Daw MD, Torres-Durán PV, Juárez-Oropeza MA. Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of intensive Hatha Yoga training in middle-aged and older women from northern Mexico. Int J Yoga 2009;2:49-54.
5Simard AA, Henry M. Impact of a short yoga intervention on medical students' health: A pilot study. Med Teach 2009;31:950-2.