How Yoga and Meditation Help People With Hepatitis C

  • Yoga class
    Why yoga and meditation?
    For most people, hepatitis C is a chronic illness. Medications can slow or stop the virus, but it's still there. In addition to your medical treatment plan, yoga and meditation can help you feel better, easing the physical and mental impact of hepatitis C and any side effects from medications.

  • Relaxed
    Yoga reduces stress.
    Having hepatitis C can make you feel anxious. Certain medications for hepatitis C can cause anxiety as well. Yoga reduces stress and can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. The practice involves a combination of breathing exercises, physical stretches and exercises, and meditation.

  • people doing yoga
    Yoga improves physical strength.
    In addition to fighting stress and anxiety, yoga can improve your overall well-being. Yoga increases your physical strength, and when you feel stronger, you feel healthier.

  • Doctor talking to patient
    Before starting a yoga practice, talk to a doctor.
    Talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program like yoga. Ask him or her if there are any yoga exercises you should avoid, especially if your liver is swollen. There are many varieties of yoga—some more intense or challenging than others. Before taking a class, check with the instructor to make sure it's a gentle type such as Hatha or restorative yoga.

  • Women meditating
    Meditation helps you focus.
    Like yoga, meditation can reduce stress and make you feel more relaxed. It often involves breathing deeply and focusing your attention. Meditation helps you become more mindful and accepting of your thoughts and feelings.

  • Meditation
    Dedicate a specific time to meditate.
    Set aside dedicated time in your schedule to meditate. Choose a quiet location with few distractions. Find a position that's comfortable for you, whether sitting or lying down.

  • Reduce Symptoms, Promote Healing
    Visualize your peaceful place.
    There are several types of meditation. One kind is called visualization. Here's how to do it: Close your eyes and picture yourself in a place where you feel safe and calm. Use all five senses to immerse yourself in this place. Take a few moments each day to travel to your favorite peaceful place in your mind.

  • Man in yoga pose
    Pay attention to your breathing.
    In mindfulness meditation, you focus on the sensation of breath flowing in and out of your body. The goal is to pay attention to what you're experiencing, without reacting to or judging it.

  • man getting massage
    Take the next steps with complementary therapies.
    Meditation and yoga are complementary therapies, which means they're used alongside conventional medical treatments. Others include massage and aromatherapy. Exploring complementary therapies can help you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.

How Yoga and Meditation Help People With Hepatitis C
  1. What I need to know about hepatitis C, National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepc_ez/)
  2. Meditation: an introduction, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#meditation)
  3. Exercise, yoga, and meditation for depressive and anxiety disorders. Saeed SA, Antonacci DJ, and Bloch, RM. American Family Physician. (http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0415/p981.html)
  4. Restorative yoga better than stretching for trimming subcutaneous fat in overweight women. Caffrey MK. American Journal of Managed Care. (http://www.ajmc.com/publications/evidence-based-diabetes-management/2013/2013-1-vol19-sp7/restorativ...)
  5. Alternative and complementary therapies: entire lesson, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/daily/alternative-therapies/single-page.asp)
  6. Fear and anxiety, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/daily/mental/anxiety.asp)
  7. Hepatitis C treatment side effects management chart, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/products/patient/side-effects-chart.asp)
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Last Review Date: 2018 Oct 4
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