One of Common Ground’s newest yoga teachers, Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga recently shared this great read on women, feelings and medication from the NYT via social media and the author Julie Holland shares a fascinating perspective based on her experiences and observations as a psychiatrist in New York.
One thing the article doesn’t bring up are the roles yoga and meditation can have in our search for reduced anxiety and stress relief. Common Ground is very interested in bringing these evidence-based alternatives into the conversation about over-medication.
These practices can teach us to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment or suppression, and help us understand our ability to engage these thoughts and feelings, or to let them go.
In 2014 Common Ground launched the pilot Integrative Wellness Program (IWP): a 3 month program that offered a minimum of 5 group coaching or counseling sessions, biweekly community acupuncture sessions, monthly individual massage therapy sessions, and weekly yoga/meditation classes. 92% of IWP’s participants reported lower levels of anxiety and 70% reported lower levels of depression.
These modalities are an alternative to medication that keep our serotonin levels artificially high and, as the article opines, puts women, “at risk of losing their emotional sensitivity with its natural fluctuations, and modeling a more masculine, static hormonal balance.”
Common Ground hears the author’s statement that, “Obviously, there are situations where psychiatric medications are called for,” loud and clear, and firmly supports it.
We enter this conversation with curiosity, and would love to hear your opinions. With your support of Common Ground, we also look forward to organizing the 2015 IWP.