Research into the benefits of mind-body approaches is confirming their value. Rachel has designed protocols and taught for research studies at the University of California, San Francisco and San Diego, on yoga for low back pain and cancer survivorship, mindful breathing for pre-hypertensive women, and restorative yoga for metabolic syndrome:
- Yoga During Chemotherapy Study with Dr. Anand Dhruva. The overall goal is to develop and test the optimal yoga intervention for patients receiving chemotherapy. We will iteratively refine components of yoga—including breathing practices, restorative yoga, and flowing movement sequences, determine the optimal combination of yoga components, and test delivery methods to encourage adherence in this chemotherapy patient population.
- UCSF Yoga and its Mechanism of Action: Implications of Strength and Stretch (YoMA II) research study on chronic low back pain, a self-directed mind-body program or weekly yoga classes and instruction for yoga home practice.
- Integrative Approaches to Cancer Survivorship with the IACS Study at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. This is a novel research project based on Ayurveda that explores the effects of individual lifestyle, nutritional, and physical activity recommendations for managing cancer related symptoms and improving overall quality of life.
- Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain with the YoMa Study (Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain and its Mechanism of Action) at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. This pilot study follows protocols for National Institutes of Health-funded studies (2005, 2011) that had overwhelmingly positive results and supported further research that may benefit the many people who suffer with back pain.
- Mindful Breathing with Project INSPIRE, a five-year study with the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine investigating the effects of mindful breathing in pre-hypertensive women, related to stress-induced breathing inhibition. This study can lead to new knowledge related disordered breathing to blood pressure regulation, and may be relevant to the search for non-pharmacological methods to prevent some forms of chronic hypertension.
- Restorative Yoga with the Practicing Restorative Yoga or Stretching for the Metabolic Syndrome (PRYSMS) at the University of California (San Francisco and San Diego) investigated the benefits of stretching and restorative yoga for the Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of health conditions related to higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.