Effect of Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) on Exercise Tolerance in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)
Short Title: J Altern Complement MedEffect of Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) on Exercise Tolerance in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2017
Pages: 696 - 704
Sources ID: 83721
Notes: Accession Number: 125250958. Language: English. Entry Date: 20170926. Revision Date: 20180903. Publication Type: Article; research; tables/charts; randomized controlled trial. Journal Subset: Alternative/Complementary Therapies; Editorial Board Reviewed; Expert Peer Reviewed; Peer Reviewed; USA. Instrumentation: Modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) Dyspnea Scale; St. George Respiratory Questionnaire¿COPD (SGRQ-C). Grant Information: This studywas funded by the National Institutes of Health, NHLBI R34HL113290.. NLM UID: 9508124.
Collection: Contemplative Practices and Breath Research
Visibility: Public (group default)
OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary rehabilitation improves exercise tolerance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, many patients do not have access to pulmonary rehabilitation programs. We hypothesized that an alternative to pulmonary rehabilitation to improve exercise tolerance is the practice of pranayama, or yoga breathing, which could be done independently at home. We also sought to determine whether yoga nonprofessionals could adequately teach pranayama to patients.DESIGN: Proof-of-concept, randomized, double-blind, controlled pilot trial. SETTINGS/LOCATION: Two academic pulmonary practices. SUBJECTS: Forty-three patients with symptomatic, moderate-to-severe COPD. INTERVENTIONS: Twelve weeks of pranayama plus education versus education alone. Two yoga professionals trained the research coordinators to conduct all pranayama teaching and monitored the quality of the teaching and the practice of pranayama by study participants. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was a change in the 6-min walk distance (6MWD). Secondary outcomes included changes in lung function, markers of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, and measures of dyspnea and quality of life. RESULTS: The 6MWD increased in the pranayama group (least square mean [95% confidence interval] = 28 m [-5 to 61]) and decreased in the control group (-15 m [-47 to 16]), with a nearly significant treatment effect (p = 0.06) in favor of pranayama. Pranayama also resulted in small improvements in inspiratory capacity and air trapping. Both groups had significant improvements in various measures of symptoms, but no overall differences in respiratory system impedance or markers of oxidative stress or systemic inflammation. CONCLUSION: This pilot study successfully demonstrated that pranayama was associated with improved exercise tolerance in patients with COPD. Lay personnel were able to adequately teach patients to practice pranayama. These results suggest that pranayama may have significant clinical benefits for symptomatic patients with COPD, a concept that needs to be confirmed in future, larger clinical trials.