Clinical case report: efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Mar;85(1-2):1-17. doi: 10.3109/00207459608986347.


The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of eight adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A specific yogic breathing pattern has been prescribed for the treatment of OCD, as well as others for treating generalized anxiety. A one year course of therapy was followed. Subjects improved on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) comparing baseline with three, six, nine, & 12 month results (one-way ANOVA for repeated measures, F(4,12) = 3.343, p < or = .046). Five patients completed the study (Y-BOCS results were 83%, 79%, 65%, 61% improvement, and one at-18%), group mean improvement of +54%. The Symptoms Checklist-90-R showed significant improvement comparing baseline and 12 months using two-tailed T-tests for OCD (t = 13.856, p < .001), anxiety (t = 3.167, p < .051), and global severity indexes (t = 7.314, p = .005). Perceived Stress Scale scores showed significant improvement for the five test periods (one-way ANOVA for repeated measures, F(4,12) = 9.114, p < or = .001). Five patients were well stabilized on fluoxetine prior to the study, three stopped medication after seven months or less, and two significantly reduced it, one by 25% and the other by 50%. These techniques, merit further study under controlled conditions and could help lead to new approaches for the treatment of OCD and perhaps other impulse control and anxiety-related disorders.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Yoga*