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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    The benefits of yoga for musicians

    Professional musicians experience high levels of stress, performance anxiety, and debilitating performance-related musculoskeletal disorders.

    Researchers from Harvard Medical School, in Boston evaluated the benefits of yoga and meditation for musicians.

    First, the details.

    • 45 young adult professional musicians volunteered to participate in a 2-month program of yoga and meditation.
    • They were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
      • Yoga lifestyle intervention
      • Yoga and meditation practice
      • A no-practice control group
    • Both yoga groups attended 3 Kripalu Yoga or meditation classes each week.
      • Kripalu emphasizes proper breathing, alignment, and coordination of breath and movement
    • The yoga lifestyle group also participated in weekly group practice and discussion sessions.
    • All participants completed questionnaires that evaluated music performance anxiety, mood, performance-related musculoskeletal disorders, perceived stress, and sleep quality.
    • Many participants later completed a 1-year follow-up assessment using the questionnaires.

    And, the results.

    • Both yoga groups showed a trend towards less music performance anxiety.
    • There was significantly less general anxiety/tension, depression, and anger compared to the controls.
    • There were no changes in performance-related musculoskeletal disorders, stress, or sleep.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded that similar results in the 2 yoga groups, despite differences in their treatments, suggest that the yoga and meditation techniques may have been responsible for the improvements.

    The results support a smaller study by the same researchers several years ago.

    8/9/09 18:13 JR

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