Can Yoga Help Control Asthma?

Yoga

For people with asthma , allergens such as pollen, cigarette smoke, or pet dander can cause more than the irritating runny nose or itchy eyes of a mild allergic reaction. These allergic triggers can cause a serious exacerbation of asthma symptoms, resulting in coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and even life-threatening respiratory problems.  To help prevent these symptoms from occurring, many asthmatics take prescription medications that reduce their sensitivity to triggers and keep their condition under control. Recently, a group of Indian researchers have suggested that yoga may also have a therapeutic effect in those suffering from asthma.

To perform this 2009 study, the researchers recruited 57 men and women, all of whom suffered from mild to moderate asthma . Of these, 29 were asked to participate in regular yoga practice, consisting of two weeks of stress management and yoga practice followed by six weeks of at-home practice. Throughout the study, scientists measured the quality of life, lung function, occurrence of asthma symptoms, and use of rescue medicine in each of the participants. At the end of the eight-week trial, it was found that the yoga group:

  • Showed significant improvement in lung function over their initial baseline levels
  • Had fewer incidences of asthma symptoms and an increased overall quality of life
  • Required less rescue medicine than the control group

Even though the yoga group experienced greater benefits, both groups of participants benefited from education about proper asthma management. These results suggest the importance of modifying lifestyle in the treatment and management of this condition. 

If you suffer from asthma and are in need of expert advice, contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000. Our physicians are dedicated to providing the highest quality of personalized patient care to the community of San Jose and the surrounding areas.  Call us today to find a doctor near you.

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