Performing simple, brief postural exercises can significantly reduce depression.

A fascinating new study from University of Maimonides, Buenos Aires showed that patients with major depression who were randomized to start postural exercises in addition to treatment with an SSRI antidepressant had significantly greater improvement compared to those who were treated with an SSRI alone, 86% vs 28.5 % respectively.

The 2 sets of exercises which took only 90 secs, were repeated 4-6 times per day. The first exercise involved standing with raised arms, flexing one leg and then the other. Each leg flex was held for 15 sec. The second exercise involved holding a pencil between the teeth and smiling for 1 minute. It is believed that these exercises modulate neural activity in emotional centers of the brain.