Yoga Can Help Patients With COPD Improve Lung Function
April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
A new study from researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders reveals that patients with COPD can improve their lung function by practicing yoga.
The study found that lung function, shortness of breath and inflammation all demonstrated significant improvement after patients completed 12 weeks of yoga training. The study results were presented at CHEST 2013, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).
COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, affects an estimated 24 million Americans. Patients with this condition have trouble pushing used air out of their lungs. This makes it difficult to breathe in fresh air. There is currently no cure for COPD, however, controlling symptoms such as shortness of breath can improve a patient’s quality of life. COPD is most commonly caused by cigarette smoking. It affects both men and women, with symptoms typically appearing in people in their 40s.
“COPD is a systemic inflammatory disease that causes difficulty breathing,” said study presenter Randeep Guleria, MD, professor and head of the department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders. “We investigated to see whether simple, structured yoga training affects the level of inflammation, shortness of breath, and quality of life in patients with stable COPD.”
The study recruited 29 stable COPD patients. The participants received yoga training in a format that included the use of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), cleansing techniques, (kriyas), meditation, and a relaxation technique (shavasan) for 1 hour, twice a week, for 4 weeks. After the 4-week period, the patients received further training for 1 hour every 2 weeks in sessions completed at home.
At the beginning of the study, the participants were evaluated on assessment of lung function, breathing, quality of life, and inflammation status, which was repeated at the end of the 12-week training session. The researchers found improvement in all parameters at the 12 week mark.
“We found that yoga can be a simple, cost-effective method that can help improve quality of life in patients with COPD,” stated Dr. Guleria.