Monday, September 12, 2016

Research Direction

Early in 2015 I began presenting classes and seminars on joint laxity. Having taught Yoga for 27+ years, I found that many yoga practitioners seem to have some degree joint laxity.

While many yoga enthusiasts experience their bodies as being tight, in actuality many yoga practitioners seem to have loose joints beneath their tight muscles. My experience is that the trait of joint laxity occurs commonly in the yoga world.

JHS is an acronym for Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, and emerging research is suggesting at JHS may not solely be experienced in the joints of the body.

The following statement is excerpted from Mind-Body Interactions in Anxiety and Somatic Symptoms by Mallorqui-Bague, et al. I have read this paper with a great deal of interest, and continue to explore the many studies that were cited in this paper.

Importantly, JHS is overrepresented among people with anxiety—especially among the so-called endogenous anxiety disorders (panic, agoraphobic, and social phobia)—and it is also overrepresented in stress-sensitive illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, temporo- mandibular joint disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Exactly how anxiety and JHS are linked remains unclear. Healthy, nonclinically anxious individuals with JHS were shown in a relatively small study to manifest structural differences in emotion-processing brain regions—in particular, larger amygdala volume bilaterally compared to participants without hypermobility. 

It's an open question as to where I focus my forthcoming research, though I feel a certain excitement flow through my being when I read articles related to JHS. Stay tuned for updates - according to a dear friend and academic inspiration, I really should have a research focus in place by Thanksgiving of my first year in grad school!

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