Improve Lung Function in Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with Physiotherapy and Yoga

Improve Lung Function in Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with Physiotherapy and Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

It’s not just about the physical movement, although that can really benefit people. Yoga is more about the inner experience than the outer experience. For people who have disabilities, I focus on deep breathing and meditation. Even when a pose requires the use of muscles impacted by neuromuscular disease, I tell my students they can close their eyes and visualize the body part that won’t move the way they think it should.” – Chelsea Singer

 

Muscular dystrophy is a relatively rare inherited disease that damages and weakens muscles over time due to the lack of a protein called dystrophin, which is necessary for normal muscle function. The absence of this protein can cause problems with walking, swallowing, and muscle coordination. Eventually sufferers lose the ability to walk and require a wheelchair. Muscular dystrophy can occur at any age, but most diagnoses occur in childhood. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form in children occurring in 1 out of 3,500 births. The symptoms include trouble walking and standing, breathing difficulties, swallowing problems, and lung and heart weakness.

 

There is no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Drugs and surgery are used to slow progression and relieve symptoms. Respiratory problems are often treated with physiotherapy. Yoga practice has been shown to improve pulmonary function. It is not known, however, if yoga practice in addition to physiotherapy can help improve pulmonary function in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of Yoga and Physiotherapy on Pulmonary Functions in Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – A Comparative Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191220/ ) Dhargave and colleagues recruited boys 5-10 years old who were diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and randomly assigned them to receive daily physiotherapy or the combination of physiotherapy plus yoga for 1 year. Physiotherapy occurred at home for 45 minutes twice a day in the morning and afternoon. The yoga group received physiotherapy in the morning and 45 minutes of yoga in the afternoon, including postures and breathing exercises. They were measure before and after training and every 3 months during the year of training for pulmonary function.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline both groups had significant improvements in pulmonary function over the year of training including improvements in vital capacity, peak expiratory flow rate, maximum voluntary ventilation, and tidal volume during maximum voluntary ventilation. Hence, replacing one daily physiotherapy session with yoga produced equivalent improvements in pulmonary function to 2 daily physiotherapy sessions. Both of the programs increased the respiratory muscle strength, maintained the resilience of lung tissue, and improved the lung capacities. Hence, yoga practice can be employed to supplement physiotherapy in the treatment of children diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

 

So, improve lung function in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy with physiotherapy and yoga.

 

Although there is no cure, yoga can help to ease the symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy and improve quality of life. Yoga’s gentle movements in combination with pranayama (breathing techniques) can improve muscle tone and reduce pain, increasing the flow of oxygen, nutrients, and energy through the body, and enabling the more efficient expulsion of toxins.” – YogaClicks

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Dhargave, P., Nalini, A., Nagarathna, R., Sendhilkumar, R., James, T. T., Raju, T. R., & Sathyaprabha, T. N. (2021). Effect of Yoga and Physiotherapy on Pulmonary Functions in Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – A Comparative Study. International journal of yoga, 14(2), 133–140. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_49_20

 

Abstract

Context:

Abnormal respiratory function is known to be detectable almost as soon as it can be measured reliably. Studies have identified the effect of respiratory muscle training as well as breathing exercises in improving pulmonary functions in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Aims:

This study aims to identify the add-on effect of yoga over physiotherapy on pulmonary functions in children with DMD.

Settings and Design:

One hundred and twenty-four patients with DMD were randomized to two groups. Group I received home-based physiotherapy and Group II received physiotherapy along with yoga intervention.

Materials and Methods:

Pulmonary function test (PFT) was assessed before the intervention (baseline data) and at regular intervals of 3 months for a period of 1 year.

Statistical Analysis Used:

Normality was assessed using Shapiro–Wilk normality test. The baseline data were analyzed using Mann–Whitney U-test to identify the homogeneity. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess significant changes in study parameters during the assessment of every 3 months, both within and between the two groups of patients.

Results:

A total of 88 participants completed all the 5 assessments, with a mean age of 7.9 ± 1.5 years. PFT parameters such as forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow rate, maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), and tidal volume during maximum voluntary ventilation (MVt) demonstrated significant improvements in Group I. In Group II, FVC and MVt significantly improved from baseline up to 1 year, whereas MVV improved from baseline up to 9 months. Tidal volume did not show any changes in both the groups.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest that introduction of yoga with physiotherapy intervention at an early age can be considered as one of the therapeutic strategies in improving pulmonary functions in patients with DMD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191220/

Improve the Respiratory Symptoms of Lung Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

Improve the Respiratory Symptoms of Lung Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Studies show that qigong practice can have many positive effects, particularly among patients with cancer, chronic illnesses, and breathing problems, as well as older adults. Benefits include improved lung function, mood, sleep, and quality of life, as well as reduced stress, pain, anxiety, and fatigue.” – Sloan Kettering Institute

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depressionTai Chi or Qigong practice has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, and lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. They are very gentle and safe practices. The research on the effectiveness of Qigong training for lung cancer patients is sparse. So, it makes sense to Investigate the ability of Qigong training to improve the symptoms of lung cancer.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Qigong in Managing a Cluster of Symptoms (Breathlessness-Fatigue-Anxiety) in Patients with Lung Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047940/ )  Molassiotis and colleagues recruited patients who had complete treatment for lung cancer and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control group or to engage in Qigong practice. They were trained in Qigong in 2 weekly 90-minute practices for 2 weeks and then practiced Qigong at home for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. They were measured before and after training and at 12 weeks for disease status, fatigue, dyspnea (difficulty with breathing), anxiety, depression, cough frequency intensity and bothersomeness, and quality of life.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline the group that practiced Qigong had significant reductions in fatigue, dyspnea (difficulty with breathing), anxiety, and cough score that were maintained at the 12-week follow-up. These effects were significantly greater in men than in women. Hence, Qigong practice appeared to improve the symptoms in lung cancer patients.

 

It should be noted that 2 weeks of Qigong training followed by 4 weeks of home practice is a rather low amount of practice relative to what is usually prescribed in other controlled research, as much as 6 months of practice. In addition, only 62% of the Qigong group completed the practice with a 62% adherence rate. So, the effective dose of Qigong was low. This suggests that if practice was extended over longer periods of time greater effectiveness would have been observed. Nevertheless, Qigong practice, even in low dose, had positive benefits for lung cancer patients.

 

So, improve the respiratory symptoms of lung cancer patients with Qigong practice.

 

Qigong improved physical and mental well-being as well as quality-of-life in patients with lung cancer.” – Patient Power

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Molassiotis, A., Vu, D. V., & Ching, S. (2021). The Effectiveness of Qigong in Managing a Cluster of Symptoms (Breathlessness-Fatigue-Anxiety) in Patients with Lung Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Integrative cancer therapies, 20, 15347354211008253. https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354211008253

 

Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Qigong is used by cancer patients, but its effect is not adequately evaluated to date. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Qigong for the management of a symptom cluster comprising fatigue, dyspnea, and anxiety in patients with lung cancer.

Methodology:

A total of 156 lung cancer patients participated in this trial, and they were randomized to a Qigong group (6 weeks of intervention) or a waitlist control group receiving usual care. The symptom cluster was assessed at baseline, at the end of treatment (primary outcome), and at 12 weeks, alongside measures of cough and quality of life (QOL).

Results:

There was no significant interaction effect between group and time for the symptom cluster overall and for fatigue and anxiety. However, a significant trend towards improvement was observed on fatigue (P = .004), dyspnea (P = .002), and anxiety (P = .049) in the Qigong group from baseline assessment to the end of intervention at the 6th week (within-group changes). Improvements in dyspnea and in the secondary outcomes of cough, global health status, functional well-being and QOL symptom scales were statistically significant between the 2 groups (P = .001, .014, .021, .001, and .002, respectively).

Conclusion:

Qigong did not alleviate the symptom cluster experience. Nevertheless, this intervention was effective in reducing dyspnea and cough, and improving QOL. More than 6 weeks were needed, however, for detecting the effect of Qigong on improving dyspnea. Furthermore, men benefited more than women. It may not be beneficial to use Qigong to manage the symptom cluster consisting of fatigue, dyspnea, and anxiety, but it may be effective in managing respiratory symptoms (secondary outcomes needing further verification in future research). Future studies targeting symptom clusters should ensure the appropriateness of the combination of symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047940/

 

Reduce Pain and Relax the Autonomic Nervous System with Mindfulness

Reduce Pain and Relax the Autonomic Nervous System with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“When we impose a litany of negativity upon our pain, it only becomes worse, and potentially elicits other difficulties including depression and anxiety. When we become more aware of what we are actually experiencing, without the overlay of our judgment, the overall perception of pain is reduced.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

We all have to deal with pain. It’s inevitable, but hopefully it’s mild and short lived. For a wide swath of humanity, however, pain is a constant in their lives. At least 100 million adult Americans have chronic pain conditions. The most common treatment for chronic pain is drugs. These include over-the-counter analgesics and opioids. But opioids are dangerous and highly addictive. Prescription opioid overdoses kill more than 14,000 people annually. So, there is a great need to find safe and effective ways to lower the psychological distress and improve the individual’s ability to cope with the pain.

 

There is an accumulating volume of research findings that demonstrate that mindfulness practices, in general, are effective in treating pain. Mindfulness appears to work by changing how the patient relates to pain rather than actually reducing or eliminating the pain. What is not known is the mechanism by which mindfulness affects chronic pain.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Role of Heart Rate Variability in Mindfulness-Based Pain Relief.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6994350/ ) Adler-Neal and colleagues recruited healthy adult non-meditators and randomly assigned them to either a meditation or sham-meditation group. The group met for 4 25-minute sessions over 7 days and practiced focused breath meditation or sham-meditation. In the sham-meditation sessions the participants were told every 2 to 3 minutes to close their eyes and take a deep breath. They were measured before and after training for respiration and heart rate variability. In addition, the participants underwent noxious non-damaging thermal stimulation on the calf of the leg and rated their pain levels.

 

They found that after both meditation and sham-meditation training there was a significant reduction in pain intensity. pain unpleasantness, and respiration rate and increase in heart rate variability, with no group differences. They also found for the meditation group only that the greater the heart rate variability the lower the pain unpleasantness ratings.

 

Heart rate variability refers to the change in the time intervals between consecutive heart beats. Higher levels of HRV are indicative of flexibility in the Autonomic Nervous System and are associated with adaptability to varying environments and lower stress levels. Higher heart rate variability is an indicator of physiological relaxation. This relaxation may well underlie the reduced pain unpleasantness. Since contemplative practices such as meditation increases heart rate variability it makes sense that these practices would also lower the perception of pain.

 

It is interesting that sham-meditation had similar effects as real meditation on pain and heart rate variability. This suggests that mindfulness reduction in pain may be due to a placebo effect where the participants’ belief that the intervention would reduce pain produced reduced perception of pain. But it could also be that the sham-meditation was actually a mindfulness practice. By focusing the participant’s attention on the breath, it might have increased mindfulness. It remains for future research to investigate this possibility.

 

So, reduce pain and relax the autonomic nervous system with mindfulness.

 

The ancient Buddhist text called the Sullatta Sutta states that mindfulness practitioners have the ability to experience pain but then let go of it.” – Brain Tap

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Adler-Neal, A. L., Waugh, C. E., Garland, E. L., Shaltout, H. A., Diz, D. I., & Zeidan, F. (2020). The Role of Heart Rate Variability in Mindfulness-Based Pain Relief. The journal of pain, 21(3-4), 306–323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2019.07.003

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mindfulness and sham mindfulness meditation reduced pain during noxious heat
  • Mindfulness and sham mindfulness meditation increased heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Mindfulness-based pain relief was associated with higher HRV
  • Higher HRV during sham mindfulness meditation was associated with higher pain

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is a self-regulatory practice premised on sustaining non-reactive awareness of arising sensory events that reliably reduces pain. Yet, the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness have not been comprehensively disentangled from the potential non-specific factors supporting this technique. Increased parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity is associated with pain relief corresponding to a number of cognitive manipulations. However, the relationship between the PNS and mindfulness-based pain attenuation remains unknown. The primary objective of the present study was to determine the role of high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV), a marker of PNS activity, during mindfulness-based pain relief as compared to a validated, sham-mindfulness meditation technique that served as a breathing-based control. Sixty-two healthy volunteers (31 females; 31 males) were randomized to a four-session (25 minutes/session) mindfulness or sham-mindfulness training regimen. Before and after each group’s respective training, participants were administered noxious (49°C) and innocuous (35°C) heat to the right calf. HF HRV and respiration rate were recorded during thermal stimulation and pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings were collected after each stimulation series. The primary analysis revealed that during mindfulness meditation, higher HF HRV was more strongly associated with lower pain unpleasantness ratings when compared to sham-mindfulness meditation (B = −0.82, p = 0.04). This finding is in line with the prediction that mindfulness-based meditation engages distinct mechanisms from sham-mindfulness meditation to reduce pain. However, the same prediction was not confirmed for pain intensity ratings (B = −0.41). Secondary analyses determined that mindfulness and sham-mindfulness meditation similarly reduced pain ratings, decreased respiration rate, and increased HF HRV (between group ps < 0.05). More mechanistic work is needed to reliably determine the role of parasympathetic activation in mindfulness-based pain relief as compared to other meditative techniques.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6994350/

 

Improve Stress Responding, Health, and Well-Being with Qigong

Improve Stress Responding, Health, and Well-Being with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Qigong is an extraordinary tool for reducing the harmful effects of stress. The three pillars of qigong practice are body, breath, and mind. If your body is relaxed your breathing will slow down. When your breath is slow, you feel more centered, more calm, and more in touch with yourself” – Kenneth Cohen

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, they can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are both mindfulness practices and gentle exercises. They have been shown to be beneficial for the health and well-being of individuals of a variety of ages, but particularly the elderly. They also improve the symptoms of a variety of diseases. One way that these practices may improve health and well-being is by reducing stress. The studies of the benefits for health of Tai Chi and Qigong are accumulating and so it makes sense to take a moment to summarize what has been learned about the benefits of Qigong practice.

 

In today’s Research News article “Individual Stress Prevention through Qigong.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7579037/ )  van Dam reviews and summarizes the published research studies of the effects of Qigong practice on stress. She reports that the published studies found that Qigong practice improves the cardiovascular system including a significant reduction in blood pressure and an increase in heartrate variability, an indicator of parasympathetic relaxation. It improves the respiratory system including increased lung capacity, oxygen intake and breathing patterns. It improves immune function and reduces inflammatory responses. It improves both psychological and physiological responses to stress. It improves sleep quality and reduces fatigue. It reduces depression and both acute and chronic anxiety.

 

These findings are remarkable and suggest that this gentle safe practice markedly improves the physical and mental well-being and health of the practitioners. Many of these benefits may result from the ability of Qigong practice to improve stress responding. Stress impairs health and well-being and Qigong practice appears to counteract these effects.

 

So, improve stress responding, health, and well-being with Qigong.

 

Qi Gong helps you develop a crystal clear mind as you connect with the present moment, letting go of the stress of daily life and relaxing deeply.”- Nick Jankel

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

van Dam K. (2020). Individual Stress Prevention through Qigong. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(19), 7342. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197342

 

Abstract

Owing to work intensification and an accelerated pace of life in general, individuals in many Western countries are often overactivated and find it difficult to switch off. However, recovery from physiological and mental activation is critical to prevent stress symptoms and maintain one’s physiological and mental well-being. Extensive research evidence indicates that Qigong, a traditional Chinese movement practice for promoting health, provides an effective means to recover from work and off-work demands. The main objective of this paper is to offer a comprehensive, narrative review of the effects of Qigong and its core components. Attention is first paid to the outcomes of work and off-work demands and stress, and the role of recovery for individuals’ well-being. Then, Qigong and its components are explained, followed by the results of scientific research. Finally, limitations and implications for research and practiced are discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7579037/

 

Meditation and Yogic Breathing Techniques Improve Respiration and Psychological Well-Being

Meditation and Yogic Breathing Techniques Improve Respiration and Psychological Well-Being

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques all depend on focusing on the breath. There are many benefits of meditation and proper breathing is an important part of learning how to calm the mind and body.” – Home Care Assistance

 

Breathing is essential for life and generally occurs automatically. It’s easy to take for granted as it’s been there our entire lives. Nevertheless, we become more aware of it when it varies with circumstances, such as when we exercise and also in emotional states, especially fear and anxiety. But we rarely notice it during everyday ongoing life. Yet, its characteristics are associated with our state of well-being. Slow deep breathing is characteristic of a healthy relaxed state. Breathing exercises are common in yoga and meditation practices and have been found to have a number of beneficial effects.

 

Modern medicine has also developed respiratory therapies for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Many of these techniques are similar to those practiced in meditation and yoga. In today’s Research News article “Analogy between classical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429199/) Tobe and Saito examine the similarities of meditation and yoga breathing exercises and respiratory therapies and their relative effects.

 

Respiratory therapy has been shown to be essential in the treatment of respiratory diseases. But, breathing techniques are not new. They’ve been practiced for over 3000 years. Yoga incorporates a number of different techniques. Even the Buddha emphasized breathing techniques during meditation and these were greatly elaborated on in Zen meditation. There are considerable similarities with respiratory therapy and meditation and yogic breathing techniques. They all emphasize deep inhalation, slow exhalation with some resistance, low respiratory frequency, and even counting of breaths.

 

Tobe and Saito note that research has shown that meditation and yogic breathing techniques, like respiratory therapy, have considerable positive effects on respiration including improved “vital capacity, timed vital capacity, maximum voluntary ventilation, breath-hold time, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures and oxygen saturation.” They also increase the psychological well-being of practitioners including reducing panic attacks, depression, and headaches, relieving pain, and improving sleep.

 

Tobe and Saito conclude that meditation and yogic breathing techniques are effective in modern clinical practice improving respiratory function and psychological well-being, and relieving chronic pain. Indeed, research on meditation and yogic breathing techniques suggest that they improve physiological and respiratory function and are effective for the treatment of a number of diseases and psychological problems.

 

So, meditation and yogic breathing techniques improve respiration and psychological well-being.

 

By inducing stress resilience, breath work enables us to rapidly and compassionately relieve many forms of suffering.” – Richard Brown

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Tobe, M., & Saito, S. (2020). Analogy between classical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy. Journal of anesthesia, 1–6. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00540-020-02840-5

 

Abstract

Anesthesiologists and intensivists are modern-day professionals who provide appropriate respiratory care, vital for patient survival. Recently, anesthesiologists have increasingly focused their attention on the type of spontaneous breathing made by non-intubated patients with pulmonary disease cared for in an intensive care unit, and also patients with chronic pain receiving cognitive behavioral therapy. Prior to our modern understanding of respiratory physiology, Zen meditators recognized that breathing has a significant impact on a person’s mental state and general physical well-being. Examples of this knowledge regarding respiration include the beneficial effects of deep inhalation and slow exhalation on anxiety and general wellness. The classical literature has noted many suggestions for breathing and its psycho-physical effects. In the present review, we examine the effect of classical breathing methods and find an analogy between typical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy. Evidence is increasing about historical breathing and related meditation techniques that may be effective in modern clinical practice, especially in the field of anesthesiology, such as in improving respiratory function and reducing chronic pain. Clarification of the detailed mechanisms involved is anticipated.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429199/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a Rare Lung Disease, with Yoga

Improve the Symptoms of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a Rare Lung Disease, with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The daily practice of yoga can help in strengthening the muscles of the chest, increase lung capacity and boost oxygen intake.” – Ayurvalley

 

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a very rare lung disease “caused by the abnormal growth of smooth muscle cells, especially in the lungs and lymphatic system. This abnormal growth leads to the formation of holes or cysts in the lung.” (Cleveland Clinic). It is a progressive disease that has symptoms similar to asthma and bronchitis. It is most prevalent in women during the prime of their lives, ages 20 to 40 years. There are no cures for LAM and treatment usually involves drugs that slow the disease progression.

 

Yoga has been shown to improve exercise tolerance and overall health and includes breathing exercises. Indeed, it has been shown that yoga practice improves the mental and physical health of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). So, it may be appropriate for patients with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Hence, there is a need for research into the effectiveness of yoga practice for LAM.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of yoga on exercise capacity in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis: a nonrandomized controlled study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075042/) Li and colleagues adult patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) who have stable disease and assigned them to either no-treatment or to receive Hatha yoga training for 90 minutes once a week for 24 weeks along with twice a week for 15 minutes home practice. They were measured before and after training for walking and afterward dyspnea, VO2peak and anaerobic threshold during an exercise test, lung function, activity, quality of life, anxiety and depression.

 

They found excellent participation and compliance with 92% attendance at the yoga training sessions and a median at how practice of 75 minutes per week. They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group that the patients who received yoga training there was a significant large improvement in walking, and cardiopulmonary anerobic threshold, and peak workload.

 

These excellent results have to be tempered by the fact that the yoga and control groups were not randomly assigned. Rather patients within a city were compared to patients outside the city. But, as pilot results, they support a development of a large randomized control trial. The results suggest that yoga practice significantly improves motor function and cardiopulmonary function in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). This would represent a significant improvement in the patients’ health.

 

So, improve the symptoms of lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease, with yoga.

 

the beneficial effects of yoga on exercise capacity and pulmonary function were the most robust.” – Brandon May

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li, X., Xu, W., Zhang, L., Zu, Y., Li, Y., Yang, Y., Xiang, Y., Xiang, Y., Chen, L., Liu, W., Chen, L., & Xu, K. F. (2020). Effects of yoga on exercise capacity in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis: a nonrandomized controlled study. Orphanet journal of rare diseases, 15(1), 72. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-1344-6

 

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the effects of yoga on exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a rare cystic lung disease in women.

Patients and methods

This was a nonrandomized, controlled study conducted in Beijing, China (August 27, 2017 – April 26, 2018). Twenty-six participants were allocated to the intervention (yoga) group (n = 13) or control group (n = 13). The yoga intervention involved a 24-week program of yoga class training for 90 min once a week and no fewer than 2 at-home sessions per week (at least 15 min per session). The 6-min walking distance (6MWD), lung function, serum vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) levels, quality of life, and symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured at baseline, 12-week and 24-week follow-up. An incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test was conducted at baseline and the 24-week follow-up.

Results

Eleven patients completed the yoga training program. The yoga group exhibited improvements in the following outcomes versus those of the control group: 6MWD (+ 55 ± 29 m vs + 18 ± 49 m, P = 0.04), anaerobic threshold (3.4 ± 2.4 ml/min/kg vs 1.6 ± 1.4 ml/min/kg, P = 0.035) and peak work load (11.7 ± 14.6 W vs 0.2 ± 9.1 W, P = 0.027). There was no significant difference in peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), lung function, VEGF-D level, and quality of life between the yoga and control groups. No adverse effects were found in the yoga group.

Conclusion

Yoga is a feasible and safe intervention for pulmonary rehabilitation and potentially improves exercise capacity in patients with LAM.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075042/

 

Reduce Blood Pressure in Patients with Noncommunicable Diseases with Mindfulness

Reduce Blood Pressure in Patients with Noncommunicable Diseases with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness practice can be an effective way to reduce blood pressure (and along with it, the risk of stroke or heart attack).” – NICABM

 

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is an insidious disease because there are no overt symptoms. The individual feels fine. But it can be deadly as more than 360,000 American deaths, roughly 1,000 deaths each day, had high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. In addition, hypertension markedly increases the risk heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.  It is also a very common disorder with about 70 million American adults (29%) having high blood pressure and only about half (52%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Treatment frequently includes antihypertensive drugs. But these medications often have adverse side effects. So, patients feel lousy when taking the drugs, but fine when they’re not. So, compliance is a major issue with many patients not taking the drugs regularly or stopping entirely.

 

Obviously, there is a need for alternative to drug treatments for hypertension. Mindfulness practices have been shown to aid in controlling hypertension. Indeed, meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. Hypertension is frequently cooccurring with in patients with non-communicable diseases. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness interventions reduce blood pressure in patients with non-communicable diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc), Intarakamhang and colleagues review, summarize and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mindfulness training in reducing blood pressure in patients with non-communicable diseases.

 

They defined non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to include cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes and identified 14 published controlled studies including a total of 1117 patients. They report that the studies found that mindfulness training significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the patients with NCDs.

 

The results are compatible with previous findings that mindfulness training reduces blood pressure in a wide variety of healthy and ill individuals. The present study demonstrates that mindfulness training is effective in reducing blood pressure in patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This is reasonable given that mindfulness training has been shown to improve the symptoms of patients with the included NCDs, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes.

 

There are a number of possible mechanisms for this blood pressure reduction. Mindfulness training is known to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress and this may in turn lower blood pressure. Also mindfulness training has been shown to affect the autonomic nervous system increasing parasympathetic activity that tends to reduce blood pressure.

 

So, reduce blood pressure in patients with noncommunicable diseases with mindfulness.

 

“The hope is that if we can start mindfulness training early in life, we can promote a trajectory of healthy aging across the rest of people’s lives. That will reduce their chances of getting high blood pressure in the first place.” – Eric Loucks

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Intarakamhang, U., Macaskill, A., & Prasittichok, P. (2020). Mindfulness interventions reduce blood pressure in patients with non-communicable diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Heliyon, 6(4), e03834. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03834

 

Abstract

Purpose

Mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) are an emerging area of empirical study, not only in positive psychology, but also in clinical health care. This research aims to synthesize the evidence about whether MBIs reduce blood pressure (BP) in patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Methods

Relevant studies were identified via PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase and the CINAHL database between 2009 and 2019. The papers selected focused on mindfulness and the effect of these on the BP of patients with NCDs. The change in SBP and DBP were meta-analyzed, stratified by type of intervention (Breathing awareness meditation (BAM), Mindfulness Meditation (MM), and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Results

Fourteen articles met eligibility criteria and were included in the final review. Among the studies using the type and duration of intervention, systolic BP was reduced after the mindfulness-based stress reduction for 8 weeks (-6.90 mmHg [95% CI: -10.82, -2.97], p < .050), followed by the breathing awareness meditation for 12 weeks (-4.10 mmHg [95% CI: -7.54, -0.66], p < .050) and the mindfulness-based intervention for 8 weeks (-2.69 mmHg [95% CI: -3.90, -1.49], p < .050) whereas diastolic BP was reduced after the mindfulness-based stress reduction for 8 weeks (-2.45 mmHg [95% CI: -3.74, -1.17], p < .050) and the mindfulness-based intervention for 8 weeks (-2.24 mmHg [95% CI: -3.22, -1.26], p < .050).

Conclusion

MBIs can provide effective alternative therapies to assist in blood pressure reduction for patients with NCDs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc

 

Improve the Physical and Mental Health of Patients with COPD with Tai Chi

Improve the Physical and Mental Health of Patients with COPD with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The gentle movements of Sun-style tai chi (SSTC) can improve the lives and boost the exercise endurance of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” – Matt McMillen

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) are progressive lung diseases that obstruct airflow. The two main types of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is very serious being the third leading cause of death in the United States, over 140,000 deaths per year and the number of people dying from COPD is growing. More than 11 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even knowing it. COPD causes serious long-term disability and early death.

 

There is no cure for COPD. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medicine, bronchodilators, steroids, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, and surgery. They all attempt to relieve symptoms, slow the progress of the disease, improve exercise tolerance, prevent and treat complications, and improve overall health. Gentle mind-body exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong practices could improve COPD symptoms. Yoga has been shown to improve exercise tolerance and overall health and includes breathing exercises. Indeed, it has been shown that yoga practice improves the mental and physical health of patients with COPD. Mindful movement practices such Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese practices involving mindfulness and gentle movements. They are easy to learn, safe, and gentle. So, it may be appropriate for patients with COPD who lack the ability to engage in strenuous exercises to engage in these gentle mind-body practices.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Tai Chi training on the physical and mental health status in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139037/), Guo and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research studies on the effectiveness of Tai Chi practices for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD).

 

They found 16 published research studies that report that Tai Chi practice results in improvements in lung function including forced volume capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and degree of lung function recovery. It also increased exercise ability as measured by the distance walked in 6 minutes, improved mood by decreasing anxiety and depression, and improved the patient’s quality of life.

 

The results are striking and important. Tai Chi practice improves the lung function, exercise capacity, mood, and quality of life in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD). It is safe and effective mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Hence, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an excellent practice to be added to routine treatment of COPD.

 

So, improve the physical and mental health of patients with COPD with Tai Chi.

 

We conclude that tai chi is equivalent to [pulmonary rehabilitation] and may confer more sustained benefit.” – Yuan-Ming Luo

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Guo, C., Xiang, G., Xie, L., Liu, Z., Zhang, X., Wu, Q., Li, S., & Wu, Y. (2020). Effects of Tai Chi training on the physical and mental health status in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of thoracic disease, 12(3), 504–521. https://doi.org/10.21037/jtd.2020.01.03

 

Abstract

Background

Tai Chi is a systematic whole body movement developed in ancient China. It plays an increasingly important role in the field of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Our review aimed to explore the impact of Tai Chi on the physical and mental health of patients with COPD.

Methods

We searched several English and Chinese databases and used the combination of subject words and free words to search for available literature from the establishment of the library until August 28, 2018. Two researchers screened studies and collected the data independently. The study inclusion criteria included: (I) patients diagnosed with COPD; (II) Tai Chi or Tai Chi Qigong as an intervention in addition to routine treatment; (III) routine treatment with or without exercises as control group. The primary outcomes were lung function, exercise capacity and health status; (IV) randomized controlled trials.

Results

Sixteen articles were included from 2009 to 2018 (n=1,096). The average time duration of Tai Chi program was 53.4 minutes each session, 4.13 sessions a week for a total of 4.13 months. Comparing with control group, Tai Chi group improved some lung function (forced volume capacity: mean difference =0.12, 95% CI: 0.03–0.21), (forced expiratory volume in 1s: mean difference =0.15, 95% CI: 0.08–0.21), enhanced 6-minute walking distance score (mean difference =30.78, 95% CI: 15.15–46.42), decreased COPD Assessment Test score (mean difference =−5.00, 95% CI: −7.51 to −2.50), decreased St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score (mean difference =−8.66, 95% CI: −14.60 to −2.72), enhanced Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire score (mean difference =2.16, 95% CI: 1.49–2.83), decreased Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score(anxiety: mean difference =−1.04, 95% CI: −1.58 to −0.51; depression: mean difference =−1.25, 95% CI: −1.77 to −0.73). Comparing with exercise group, Tai Chi group statistically enhanced 6-minute walking distance score (mean difference =7.77, 95% CI: 2.63–12.91).

Conclusions

Tai Chi may represent an appropriate alternative or complement to standard rehabilitation programs. However, whether Tai Chi is better than pulmonary rehabilitation exercise has not been determined.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139037/

 

Improve Gulf War Illness in Veterans with Tai Chi

Improve Gulf War Illness in Veterans with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.” – US Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Engaging in warfare has many consequences to society and individuals, including the warriors themselves. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common problem among military veterans with between 11% to 20% of veterans who were involved in combat developing PTSD. There is a specific syndrome that has been identified in about 36% of veterans of the Persian Gulf war of 1991. The cluster of symptoms include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.

 

It has been demonstrated that mindfulness training is effective for PTSD symptoms . In addition, Yoga practice is a mindfulness practice that has been shown to be helpful for PTSD. Mindful movement practices such as Tai Chi and Qigong have been found to be beneficial for individuals with a myriad of physical and psychological problems. This raises the possibility that Tai Chi practice may be beneficial for veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effects of Tai Chi Mind-Body Approach on the Mechanisms of Gulf War Illness: an Umbrella Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600798/), Reid and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice in relieving the symptoms of participants whose symptoms were similar to Gulf War Illness. They identified multiple randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses of Tai Chi practice for these symptoms.

 

They report that the published research indicates that Tai Chi practice significantly improves mood, sleep, global cognitive function, and respiratory function and significantly decreases insomnia, anxiety, depression, stress, and chronic pain. Hence Tai Chi practice has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms that commonly occur in Gulf War Illness. This suggests that Tai Chi practice should be tried directly to treat veterans with Gulf War Syndrome. It remains for future research to test this hypothesis.

 

So, improve Gulf War Illness in veterans with Tai Chi.

 

Mindfulness-based stress reduction may provide significant benefits to symptoms associated with Gulf War Illness in veterans.” – Laura Stiles

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Reid, K. F., Bannuru, R. R., Wang, C., Mori, D. L., & Niles, B. L. (2019). The Effects of Tai Chi Mind-Body Approach on the Mechanisms of Gulf War Illness: an Umbrella Review. Integrative medicine research, 8(3), 167–172. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2019.05.003

 

Abstract

Gulf War illness (GWI) is a chronic and multisymptom disorder affecting military veterans deployed to the 1991 Persian Gulf War. It is characterized by a range of acute and chronic symptoms, including but not limited to, fatigue, sleep disturbances, psychological problems, cognitive deficits, widespread pain, and respiratory and gastrointestinal difficulties. The prevalence of many of these chronic symptoms affecting Gulf War veterans occur at markedly elevated rates compared to nondeployed contemporary veterans. To date, no effective treatments for GWI have been identified. The overarching goal of this umbrella review was to critically evaluate the evidence for the potential of Tai Chi mind-body exercise to benefit and alleviate GWI symptomology. Based on the most prevalent GWI chronic symptoms and case definitions established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Gulf War Veterans Health Initiative Program, we reviewed and summarized the evidence from 7 published systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Our findings suggest that Tai Chi may have the potential for distinct therapeutic benefits on the major prevalent symptoms of GWI. Future clinical trials are warranted to examine the feasibility, efficacy, durability and potential mechanisms of Tai Chi for improving health outcomes and relieving symptomology in GWI.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600798/

 

Help Relieve Asthma Symptoms with Yoga

Help Relieve Asthma Symptoms with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga can help increase breath and body awareness, slow your respiratory rate, and promote calm and relieve stress — all of which are beneficial for people who have asthma.” – Judi Bar

 

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that involves a persistent inflammation of the airways. When the inflammation worsens, it makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs provoking coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide and 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma and the incidence appears to be growing. In the U.S.it is estimated to cost $60 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost productivity. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in the world among children with about 10% of children suffering from asthma.

 

Asthma is not fatal and those with moderate asthma have an equivalent life expectancy to those that don’t. There is no cure for asthma. So, it is a chronic disease that must be coped with throughout the lifetime. Treatments are aimed at symptomatic relief. Most frequently drugs, anti-inflammatory hormones, and inhalers are used to help control the inflammation. Exercise can be difficult with asthma and may actually precipitate an attack. This can be a problem as maintaining fitness with asthma can be difficult. A relatively gentle form of exercise, yoga practice can be practiced without heavy breathing and thus may not provoke asthma. In addition, breathing exercises like those incorporated into yoga practice are known to help control asthma. This suggests that yoga practice may be a helpful exercise for people with asthma.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga for asthma.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6880926/), Yang and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of yoga practice for the treatment of asthma. They found 15 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

 

They report that the research found that yoga practice produced a significant improvement in the asthma patients’ symptoms, control of asthma, and quality of life and a significant reduction in asthma medication use. In terms of lung function, the research found that yoga practice produced significant improvements in forced vital capacity and peak expiratory flow rate.

 

Hence, yoga practice appears to be beneficial for asthma patients, improving lung function, asthma symptoms, drug use, and improving the patient’s quality of life. There were no recorded adverse events associated with the yoga practice. This is important as exercise is often difficult for asthma patients. Yoga practice appears to be feasible and well tolerated and beneficial for asthma patients.

 

So, help relieve asthma symptoms with yoga.

 

Having asthma means it can be a struggle to breathe properly, but yoga involves learning how to breathe deeply in and out through the nose to filter the air, and find a natural, balanced breathing pattern. Over time this helps to increase lung capacity and gives you more control of your breathing day-to-day.” – Julia White

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yang, Z. Y., Zhong, H. B., Mao, C., Yuan, J. Q., Huang, Y. F., Wu, X. Y., … Tang, J. L. (2016). Yoga for asthma. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4(4), CD010346. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010346.pub2

 

Abstract

Background

Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disorder affecting about 300 million people worldwide. As a holistic therapy, yoga has the potential to relieve both the physical and psychological suffering of people with asthma, and its popularity has expanded globally. A number of clinical trials have been carried out to evaluate the effects of yoga practice, with inconsistent results.

Objectives

To assess the effects of yoga in people with asthma.

Search methods

We systematically searched the Cochrane Airways Group Register of Trials, which is derived from systematic searches of bibliographic databases including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, and PsycINFO, and handsearching of respiratory journals and meeting abstracts. We also searched PEDro. We searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO ICTRP search portal. We searched all databases from their inception to 22 July 2015, and used no restriction on language of publication. We checked the reference lists of eligible studies and relevant review articles for additional studies. We attempted to contact investigators of eligible studies and experts in the field to learn of other published and unpublished studies.

Selection criteria

We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared yoga with usual care (or no intervention) or sham intervention in people with asthma and reported at least one of the following outcomes: quality of life, asthma symptom score, asthma control, lung function measures, asthma medication usage, and adverse events.

Data collection and analysis

We extracted bibliographic information, characteristics of participants, characteristics of interventions and controls, characteristics of methodology, and results for the outcomes of our interest from eligible studies. For continuous outcomes, we used mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) to denote the treatment effects, if the outcomes were measured by the same scale across studies. Alternatively, if the outcomes were measured by different scales across studies, we used standardised mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI. For dichotomous outcomes, we used risk ratio (RR) with 95% CI to measure the treatment effects. We performed meta‐analysis with Review Manager 5.3. We used the fixed‐effect model to pool the data, unless there was substantial heterogeneity among studies, in which case we used the random‐effects model instead. For outcomes inappropriate or impossible to pool quantitatively, we conducted a descriptive analysis and summarised the findings narratively.

Main results

We included 15 RCTs with a total of 1048 participants. Most of the trials were conducted in India, followed by Europe and the United States. The majority of participants were adults of both sexes with mild to moderate asthma for six months to more than 23 years. Five studies included yoga breathing alone, while the other studies assessed yoga interventions that included breathing, posture, and meditation. Interventions lasted from two weeks to 54 months, for no more than six months in the majority of studies. The risk of bias was low across all domains in one study and unclear or high in at least one domain for the remainder.

There was some evidence that yoga may improve quality of life (MD in Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) score per item 0.57 units on a 7‐point scale, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.77; 5 studies; 375 participants), improve symptoms (SMD 0.37, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.65; 3 studies; 243 participants), and reduce medication usage (RR 5.35, 95% CI 1.29 to 22.11; 2 studies) in people with asthma. The MD for AQLQ score exceeded the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of 0.5, but whether the mean changes exceeded the MCID for asthma symptoms is uncertain due to the lack of an established MCID in the severity scores used in the included studies. The effects of yoga on change from baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (MD 0.04 litres, 95% CI ‐0.10 to 0.19; 7 studies; 340 participants; I2 = 68%) were not statistically significant. Two studies indicated improved asthma control, but due to very significant heterogeneity (I2 = 98%) we did not pool data. No serious adverse events associated with yoga were reported, but the data on this outcome was limited.

Authors’ conclusions

We found moderate‐quality evidence that yoga probably leads to small improvements in quality of life and symptoms in people with asthma. There is more uncertainty about potential adverse effects of yoga and its impact on lung function and medication usage. RCTs with a large sample size and high methodological and reporting quality are needed to confirm the effects of yoga for asthma.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6880926/