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Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Jan;3(1):28-35. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.084.

A Pilot Feasibility Study of Whole-systems Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Therapy for Weight Loss.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, Albuquerque (Dr Rioux), United States.
2
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson (Dr Thompson), United States.
3
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona (Dr Howerter), United States.

Abstract

in English, Chinese, Spanish

OBJECTIVE:

To develop and test the feasibility of a whole-systems lifestyle intervention for obesity treatment based on the practices of Ayurvedic medicine/ Yoga therapy.

DESIGN:

A pre-post weight loss intervention pilot study using conventional and Ayurvedic diagnosis inclusion criteria, tailored treatment within a standardized treatment algorithm, and standardized data collection instruments for collecting Ayurvedic outcomes.

PARTICIPANTS:

A convenience sample of overweight/obese adult community members from Tucson, Arizona interested in a "holistic weight loss program" and meeting predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria.

INTERVENTION:

A comprehensive diet, activity, and lifestyle modification program based on principles of Ayurvedic medicine/yoga therapy with significant self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviors. The 3-month program was designed to change eating and activity patterns and to improve self-efficacy, quality of life, well-being, vitality, and self-awareness around food choices, stress management, and barriers to weight loss.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in body weight, body mass index; body fat percentage, fat/lean mass, waist/hip circumference and ratio, and blood pressure.

SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Diet and exercise self-efficacy scales; perceived stress scale; visual analog scales (VAS) of energy, appetite, stress, quality of life, well-being, and program satisfaction at all time points.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two adults attended an in-person Ayurvedic screening; 17 initiated the intervention, and 12 completed the 3-month intervention. Twelve completed follow-up at 6 months and 11 completed follow-up at 9 months. Mean weight loss at 3 months was 3.54 kg (SD 4.76); 6 months: 4.63 kg, (SD 6.23) and 9 months: 5.9 kg (SD 8.52). Self-report of program satisfaction was more than 90% at all time points.

CONCLUSIONS:

An Ayurveda-/yoga-based lifestyle modification program is an acceptable and feasible approach to weight management. Data collection, including self-monitoring and conventional and Ayurvedic outcomes, did not unduly burden participants, with attrition similar to that of other weight loss studies.

KEYWORDS:

Ayurveda; Obesity; behavior change; integrative medicine; whole systems; yoga

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