Yoga may be a simple and low-cost method to improve quality of life in patients with an inflammatory lung disease, according to a study by doctors at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The study presented at the CHEST 2013 meeting here found that lung function, shortness of breath, and inflammation all showed significant improvement in Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients after they completed 12 weeks of training.
Patients with COPD have trouble pushing used air out of their lungs, making it difficult to take in healthy new air. Although there is no cure for COPD, a patient’s quality of life can be improved by controlling symptoms, such as shortness of breath, researchers said.
COPD, most commonly caused by cigarette smoking, affects both men and women, and often, symptoms are seen in people in their 40s. “COPD is a systemic inflammatory disease that causes difficulty breathing,” said study presenter Randeep Guleria, professor and head, department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders at AIIMS, New Delhi.
“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,” said Guleria.
The study included 29 stable patients with COPD, who 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.
Following the 4-week period, patients were trained for one hour every two weeks, with the remaining sessions completed at home.
Patients were evaluated on assessment of lung function, breathing, quality of life, and inflammation status.
A repeat assessment was done at the end of the 12-week training session. All parameters showed significant improvement at the end of the 12-week period. “We found that yoga can be a simple, cost-effective method that can help improve quality of life in patients with COPD,” said Guleria.
The study was presented at CHEST 2013, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)