A Qualitative Study on the Practice of Yoga for Women with Pain-Associated Endometriosis
Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 977 - 982
Source ID: shanti-sources-83751
Collection: Contemplative Practices and Breath Research
Abstract: Objectives: To understand the meaning women with pain-associated endometriosis attribute to yoga practice regarding their physical and emotional state at the beginning of the practice; pain management by integrating body and mind; secondary benefits of the practice of yoga, such as self-knowledge, self-care, and autonomy; and the role of the yoga group as psychosocial support. Design: Qualitative study conducted simultaneously with a randomized clinical trial. Setting: Public university hospital in southeastern Brazil between August 2013 and December 2014. Participants: Fifteen women with pain-associated endometriosis who practiced yoga for 8 weeks. Intervention: After completing the twice-a-week program, all women participated in a single, semi-structured interview. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and thematic analyses were performed. Outcome measures: The main themes of analysis were women's expectations regarding the practice of yoga, physical and emotional state of women at the beginning of yoga practice, control and pain management through the integration of body and mind, secondary benefits, acquisition of self-knowledge and autonomy, and the role of yoga group as psychosocial support. Results: All participants reported that yoga was beneficial to control pelvic pain. They related that they were aware of the integration of body and psyche during yoga practice and that this helped in the management of pain. Women said they had identified a relationship between pain management and breathing techniques ( pranayama) learned in yoga and that breathing increased their ability to be introspective, which relieved pain. The participants have developed greater self-knowledge, autonomy, and self-care and have reduced the use of pain and psychiatric medications. They created ties among themselves, suggesting that the yoga group allowed psychosocial support. Conclusions: Bodily and psychosocial mechanisms to control pain were identified in women with endometriosis. To reach such control, it is crucial that mind and body integrative techniques are learned.