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That's abusing your head!

"You are old, Father William,"
 the young man said,
"And your hair has become
very white;
And yet you incessantly stand
on your head--
Do you think, at your age,
 it is right?"
"In my youth," Father William
 replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain:
But now that I'm perfectly sure
I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."
 --Lewis Carroll
 Alice in Wonderland

The alleged health benefits of yoga have led to claims that standing on one's head leads to everything from memory improvement and intellectual enhancement to constipation relief and improved sex life. The truth is, there is no scientific evidence for such claims--and plenty of evidence that, in some instances, it can do serious damage.

Expert instruction and good physical condition are essential for such advanced yoga maneuvers as headstands, which may be relaxing or invigorating for some. For persons with high blood pressure, or eye problems aggravated by increased pressure within the eye (such as glaucoma or macular degeneration), headstands can be downright dangerous. They can also cause neck strain or injury, as well as rupture of tiny veins in the face, headaches, and other symptoms of excessive pressure in the head.
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Title Annotation:potential dangers of headstands and yoga
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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