Scientists in India have studied the effects of yoga as a form of pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Pulmonary rehabilitation is short course of regular exercises and educational information. It aims to reduce the impact that a lung condition has on a person’s quality of life by reducing the severity of symptoms and increasing their ability to participate in everyday activities.
The study, due to be presented next week (Monday 26 October, 2015) at the American College of Chest Physicians Annual Meeting, involved a small sample of 60 people with COPD.
The participants were split into two groups – the first group was taught yoga exercises, while the other group was put through a structured pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Each group had regular hour-long supervised training sessions in their respective programmes for 12 weeks, before they were asked to continue doing their exercises at home.
To see whether there would be a difference in the effect of the two different programmes, participants performed a number of tests, including breathing and lung function tests, before and after they completed their course of exercises.
The researchers compared the results of these tests and found that the two groups experienced similar improvements to their lung function and exercise stamina after completing their respective courses. Based on these findings, the researchers believe that yoga could be used to help manage COPD. However, further studies are needed to confirm this.
Read the abstract of the study.
Read our guideline on pulmonary rehabilitation.
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