Spinning charkha may have positive effect on mental health: Study

PTI Nov 21, 2018

Spinning charkha for one hour daily may improve concentration, multitasking abilities, patience and mind-body coordination of children and youth, a study claims.

The study conducted by the Brain Behaviour Research Foundation Of India (BBRFI) here analysed the relevance of charkha (spinning wheel) among children and youth in the society. According to the research conducted for over a month on 30 individuals, 10 to 18 years of age, spinning a charkha everyday had positive and soothing effects on the participants.

Pre and post training data was collected using brain mapping & electroencephalogram (EEG). Subjects were also tested for psychological, personality and intelligence quotient (IQ) tests. The study saw positive results in all aspects of behaviour, according to the research recently presented here by Chairperson of BBRFI, Meena Mishra.

It provides scientific foundation to anecdotal reports of benefits of charkha spinning, Mishra said. The study was sponsored by Gandhi Darshan, Ministry of Culture. The event also marked the launch of BBRFI's Annual Magazine on mental health, 'Brain Behaviour - Mind Matters'.

The magazine shines the spotlight on issues, approaches and prevailing commentary on mental health in India and across the world. "Mental health is even more important that physical health. At AIIMS we are actively looking at working with our psychology department to help family members of patients cope with some trying and difficult times," said Rajesh Malhotra from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Commenting on the status of mental health in India, Rajesh Sagar, Professor, Department Of Psychiatry, AIIMS, Delhi, said, "There is a great deal of stigma in the society on mental health. Mental wellbeing is often construed as being crazy or mad, which mean people find it difficult to talk about and even seek help in intervention. We, as a society, need to change this attitude." 

The urgency of focus on mental health in India can be pointed out with the fact that, one in four people in the world is likely to be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, the researchers said. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide, they said.

Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) stigma, discrimination and neglect, prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders.

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