A spot of yoga has been found to improve health and quality of life in people suffering heart failure.
The ancient Indian art has been found to improve cardiovascular function and scientists say it should be offered as a treatment to manage the condition.
Heart failure is a form of cardiovascular disease where the heart muscle is either too weak or too stiff to pump properly, often leading to fluid buildup, shortness of breath and other complications.
A new study, due to be presented at the American College of Cardiology Asia 2023 conference in the Philippines, looks at the long-term outcomes of yoga therapy.
The team from the Indian Council for Medical Research at Kasturba Medical College & Hospital at Manipal Academy of Heart Education looked at 75 heart failure patients.
All were aged between 30 and 70 and had undergone coronary intervention, revascularization or device therapy within in the previous six months to one year.
The group was split in two, 31 men and four women who received yoga and 30 men and 10 women continued to receive medical therapy.
The yoga group was taught selected yoga therapies like pranayama, meditation and relaxation techniques.
Each session lasted around 60 minutes and participants were supervised for one week at the training center before being asked to continue self-administered yoga at home.
They were then told to perform yoga at least five days a week for a year.
“Yoga is a combination of mind-body techniques, which is a set of physical exercises with breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation that can be effectively used to stimulate physical and mental well-being,” said Dr. Ajit Singh.
“Our patients observed improvement in systolic blood pressure and heart rate compared to patients who were on medication without yoga,” said Singh.
The study showed participants in the yoga group had improvement in endurance, strength, balance, symptom stability and quality of life.
Dr. Singh added: “This study proves that the addition of yoga therapy to standard medical management of heart failure leads to an improvement in left ventricular systolic function and quality of life in heart failure patients.
“Hence, yoga therapy may improve physical well-being and left ventricular function among heart failure patients on guideline-directed optimal medical therapy.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager