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Exploring the Benefits of Unilateral Nostril Breathing Practice Post-Stroke: Attention, Language, Spatial Abilities, Depression, and Anxiety
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 185 - 194
Source ID: shanti-sources-117264
Abstract: Objective: Unilateral nostril breathing (UNB) is a yogic pranayama technique that has been shown to improve verbal and spatial cognition in neurologically intact individuals. Early study of UNB in healthy individuals has shown benefits for attention and memory. This preliminary study explored whether UNB influenced various measures of attention, language, spatial abilities, depression, and anxiety in post-stroke individuals, both with and without aphasia. Design: A within-subjects repeated-measures design was used to determine whether UNB improved cognitive, linguistic, and affect variables in post-stroke individuals. Within-subjects comparisons determined UNB’s effects over time, and between-subjects comparison was used to determine whether changes in these variables differed between post-stroke individuals with and without aphasia. Setting: Athens and Atlanta, Georgia. Participants: Eleven post-stroke individuals participated in a 10-week UNB program. Five individuals had stroke-induced left hemisphere damage with no diagnosis of aphasia (left hemisphere damage control group; LHD), and six individuals experienced left hemisphere damage with a diagnosis of aphasia (individuals with aphasia group; IWA). Measures: Individuals were assessed on measures of attention, language, spatial abilities, depression, and anxiety before, during, and after UNB treatment.Results: UNB significantly decreased levels of anxiety for individuals in both groups. Performance on language measures increased for the individuals with aphasia. Conclusions: Significant findings for language and affect measures indicate that further investigation regarding duration of UNB treatment and use of UNB treatment alongside traditional speech-language therapy in poststroke individuals is warranted.