Body image encompasses our thoughts, feelings and behaviour towards our bodies.
A recent study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice suggests that yoga could be an important tool for boosting the self-esteem and body image of clients who have experienced burn injuries. (Ozdemir and Saritas, 2019)
A clinical trial involving 110 patients in a hospital’s adult burns unit compared yoga nidra therapy and standard medical care (experimental group) with standard medical care alone (control group). Patients in the experimental group had one-to-one 30-minute yoga sessions three days a week for four weeks.
Individuals in both groups were asked to complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Body Image Scale.
Self-esteem across both groups was seen as ‘sufficient’ at the start of the test and body image was described as low, with discomfort in body perception. This is said to be common among burns patients, who may have scar tissue and amputated extremities, and often fear losing function of body parts and being judged negatively by others.
By the end of the study, both self-esteem and body image scores in the yoga group were significantly higher than those in the control group.
Are you interested in promoting positive body image in your clients?
At our 2019 FHT Conference, Fiona Holland will provide practical guidance on how therapists can reinforce positive body image and esteem in clients, promoting healthier self-talk and body-supportive behaviours.