Yoga for bronchial asthma: a controlled study


Fifty three patients with asthma underwent training for two weeks in an integrated set of yoga exercises, including breathing exercises, suryanamaskar, yogasana (physical postures), pranayama (breath slowing techniques), dhyana (meditation), and a devotional session, and were told to practise these exercises for 65 minutes daily. They were then compared with a  controlgroup of 53 patients with asthma matched for age,sex, and type and severity of asthma, who continued to take their usual drugs. There was a significantly greater improvement in the

group who practised yoga in the weekly number of attacks of asthma, scores for drug treatment, and peak flow rate. This study shows the efficacy of yoga in the long term management of bronchial asthma, but the physiological basis for this beneficial effect needs to be examined in more detail.

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