Want to Try Yoga to Relieve IBD Symptoms? MD-Backed Online Classes Are Available Now

For people living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), staying physically and mentally fit is paramount in order to keep symptoms at bay. But setting foot in a gym during the novel coronavirus pandemic isn’t top of mind for everyone, especially those who are immunocompromised.

Fortunately, the GI Research Foundation at the University of Chicago has launched a series of guided yoga, meditation, and breathwork classes online. The classes cater to all experience levels and include IBD-focused content — such as a quick, three-minute meditation for symptom relief and a five-minute breathing exercise for pain relief — as well as two 40-minute video yoga classes, a meditation audio class, and guided breathwork.

The program was co-designed by Biana Lanson, MD, a physician in Stamford, Connecticut, who suffers from ulcerative colitis (UC) and serves on the GI Research Foundation board of directors. According to Dr. Lanson, patients who integrate mind-body exercises such as yoga, meditation, and breathwork as part of their IBD therapies report greater improvements in anxiety and pain compared with patients using medical interventions alone.

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