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BACKGROUND: Neck pain is one of the commonest complaints and an important public health problem across the globe. Yoga has reported to be useful for neck pain and hot sand has reported to be useful for chronic rheumatism. The present study was conducted to evaluate the add-on effect of hot sand fomentation (HSF) to yoga on pain, disability, quality of sleep (QOS) and quality of life (QOL) of the patients with non-specific neck pain. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 60 subjects with non-specific or common neck pain were recruited and randomly divided into either study group or control group. Both the groups have received yoga and sesame seed oil (Sesamum Indicum L.) application. In addition to yoga and sesame seed oil, study group received HSF for 15 min per day for 5-days. Assessments were taken prior to and after the intervention. RESULTS: Results of the study showed a significant reduction in the scores of visual analogue scale for pain, neck disability index (NDI), The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and a significant increase in physical function, physical health, emotional problem, pain, and general health both in study and control groups. However, reductions in pain and NDI along with improvement in social functions were better in the study group as compared with control group. CONCLUSION: Results of this study suggest that addition of HSF to yoga provides a better reduction in pain and disability along with improvement in the social functioning of the patients with non-specific neck pain than yoga alone.

Various pranayama techniques are known to produce different physiological effects. We evaluated the effect of three-different pranayama techniques on cerebrovascular hemodynamics. Eighteen healthy volunteers with the mean ± standard deviation age of 23.78 ± 2.96 years were performed three-different pranayama techniques: (1) Bhramari, (2) Kapalbhati and (3) Bahir-Kumbhaka in three-different orders. Continuous transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring was performed before, during and after the pranayama techniques. TCD parameters such as peak systolic velocity, end diastolic velocity (EDV), mean flow velocity (MFV) and pulsatility index (PI) of right middle cerebral artery were recorded. Practice of Kapalbhati showed significant reductions in EDV and MFV with significant increase in PI while, Bahir-Kumbhaka showed significant increase in EDV and MFV with significant reduction in PI. However, no such significant changes were observed in Bhramari pranayama. Various types of pranayama techniques produce different cerebrovascular hemodynamic changes in healthy volunteers.

Background:Pranayama techniques are known to produce variable physiological effects on the body. We evaluated the effect of the two commonly practiced Pranayama techniques on cerebral hemodynamics. Materials and Methods: Fifteen healthy male volunteers, trained in Yoga and Pranayama, were included in the study. Mean age was 24 years (range 22–32 years). Study participants performed 2 Pranayamas in 2 different orders. Order 1 (n = 7) performed Bhastrika (bellows breaths) followed by Kumbhaka (breath retention) while order 2 (n = 8) performed Kumbhaka followed by Bhastrika. Both breathing techniques were performed for 1 min each. Continuous transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring was performed during the breathing techniques. TCD parameters that were recorded included peak systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), mean flow velocity (MFV), and pulsatility index (PI) of the right middle cerebral artery at baseline, 15, 30, 45, and 60 s. Results: Significant reductions in EDV (3.67 ± 6.48; P < 0.001) and MFV (22.00 ± 7.30; P < 0.001) with a significant increase in PI (2.43 ± 0.76; P < 0.001) were observed during Bhastrika. On the contrary, a significant increase in PSV (65.27 ± 13.75; P < 0.001), EDV (28.67 ± 12.03; P < 0.001), and MFV (43.67 ± 12.85; P < 0.001) with a significant reduction in PI (0.89 ± 0.28; P < 0.01) was observed only during Kumbhaka. Conclusion: Bhastrika and Kumbhaka practices of Pranayama produce considerable and opposing effects on cerebral hemodynamic parameters. Our findings may play a potential role in designing the Pranayama techniques according to patients’ requirements.

<br><b>Purpose:</b> Executive function, attention, and memory are an important indicator of cognitive health in children. In this study, we analyze the effect of yoga and physical exercise on executive functioning, attention, and memory. <b>Methods:</b> In this prospective two-armed randomized controlled trial, around 802 students from ten schools across four districts were randomized to receive daily 1 h yoga training (<i>n</i> = 411) or physical exercise (<i>n</i> = 391) for 2 months. Executive function, attention, and memory were studied using Trail Making Test (TMT). Yoga (<i>n</i> = 377) and physical exercise (<i>n</i> = 371) students contributed data to the analyses. The data were analyzed using intention-to-treat approach using Student's <i>t</i>-test. <b>Results:</b> There was a significant increase in numerical TMT (TMTN) values within yoga (<i>t</i> = −2.17; <i>P</i> < 0.03) and physical activity (PA) (<i>t</i> = −3.37; <i>P</i> < 0.001) groups following interventional period. However, there was no significant change in TMTN between yoga and PA groups (<i>t</i> = 0.44; <i>P</i> = 0.66). There was a significant increase in alphabetical TMT (TMTA) values within yoga (<i>t</i> = 6.21; <i>P</i> < 0.00) and PA groups (<i>t</i> = 1.19; <i>P</i> < 0.234) following interventional period. However, there was no significant change in TMTA between yoga and PA groups (<i>t</i> = 3.46; <i>P</i> = 0.001). <b>Conclusion:</b> The results suggest that yoga improves executive function, attention, and working memory as effectively as physical exercise intervention in adolescent schoolchildren.<br>

Cardiovascular functions are controlled by neural factors, temperature, hormones, etc., Of these, neural factors primarily concern the autonomic nervous system, which plays a major role in maintaining and regulating cardiac functions, e.g., blood pressure and heart rate. Prāṇāyāma is one of the most important yogic practices. There are various review articles on Yoga and its effects but, though Prāṇāyāma is a part of yoga, there is lack of review articles. To the best of our knowledge there is no known review article on effect of various Prāṇāyāma on cardiovascular and autonomic variables. To provide a general overview about the effect of various prāṇāyāma (breathing techniques) on cardiovascular and autonomic variables. A narrative review was performed based on the available scientific literature. An electronic data search was performed in Medline/PubMed database to review relevant articles, using keywords such as "Prāṇāyāma, Yogic breathing techniques, Unilateral nostril breathing, Alternate nostril breathing, Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and Bhramari Pranayama". All the relevant articles published from 1988 to 06-04-2016 were included in this review. Slow type of yogic breathing technique was reported to produce beneficial effect on cardiovascular and autonomic variables while fast breathing techniques do not produce such effects. There is lack of consistency in the results of specific nostril yogic breathing techniques and the mechanisms behind the effects of various prāṇāyāma. This review suggests that different types of Prāṇāyāma techniques produce different effects and the mechanisms behind these effects are not fully understood.

Pranayama or breath regulation is considered as an essential component of Yoga, which is said to influence the physiological systems. We present a comprehensive overview of scientific literature in the field of yogic breathing. We searched PubMed, PubMed Central and IndMed for citations for keywords "Pranayama" and "Yogic Breathing". The search yielded a total of 1400 references. Experimental papers, case studies and case series in English, revealing the effects of yogic breathing were included in the review. The preponderance of literature points to beneficial effects of yogic breathing techniques in both physiological and clinical setups. Advantageous effects of yogic breathing on the neurocognitive, psychophysiological, respiratory, biochemical and metabolic functions in healthy individuals were elicited. They were also found useful in management of various clinical conditions. Overall, yogic breathing could be considered safe, when practiced under guidance of a trained teacher. Considering the positive effects of yogic breathing, further large scale studies with rigorous designs to understand the mechanisms involved with yogic breathing are warranted.

Background: There is very little evidence available on the effects of yoga-based breathing practices on response inhibition. The current study used stop-signal paradigm to assess the effects of yoga breathing with intermittent breath holding (YBH) on response inhibition among healthy volunteers.Materials and Methods: Thirty-six healthy volunteers (17 males + 19 females), with mean age of 20.31 ± 3.48 years from a university, were recruited in a within-subject repeated measures (RM) design. The recordings for stop signal task were performed on three different days for baseline, post-YBH, and post yogic breath awareness (YBA) sessions. Stop-signal reaction time (SSRT), mean reaction time to go stimuli (go RT), and the probability of responding on-stop signal trials (p [r/s]) were analyzed for 36 volunteers using RM analysis of variance. Results: SSRT reduced significantly in both YBH (218.33 ± 38.38) and YBA (213.15 ± 37.29) groups when compared to baseline (231.98 ± 29.54). No significant changes were observed in go RT and p (r/s). Further, the changes in SSRT were not significantly different among YBH and YBA groups. Conclusion: Both YBH and YBA groups were found to enhance response inhibition in the stop-signal paradigm. YBH could be further evaluated in clinical settings for conditions where response inhibition is altered.

BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major global health problem. Though various studies have reported the beneficial effect of Yoga in patient with T2DM, there is a lack of study in combination with bell pepper and yoga. Hence, the present study aims at evaluating short-term effect of add on bell pepper juice with integrated approach of yoga therapy (IAYT) on blood glucose levels and cardiovascular variables in patients with T2DM. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty T2DM subjects with the age varied from 34 to 69-years were recruited and randomly divided into either study group or control group. The study group received 100-ml of bell pepper juice (twice/day) along with IAYT while the control group received only IAYT for 4-consecutive days. Baseline and post-test assessments were taken before and after the intervention. Statistical analysis was performed using statistical package for the social sciences, version-16. RESULTS: Results of this study showed no significant difference in overall (fasting and post prandial) blood glucose level in the study group compared with control group. However, a significant reduction in Post prandial blood glucose (PPBG), systolic blood pressure (SBP), pulse pressure (PP), rate pressure product (RPP) and Double product (Do-P) was observed in the study group compared with control group. CONCLUSION: Results of this study suggest that though an addition of 100-ml of bell pepper juice (twice/day) along with IAYT is not more effective in reducing fasting blood glucose, it may be more effective in reducing PPBG, SBP, PP, RPP and Do-P than IAYT alone.

Vomiting is a complex autonomic reflex orchestrated by several neurological centres in the brain. Vagus, the cranial nerve plays a key role in regulation of vomiting. Kunjal Kriya (Voluntarily Induced Vomiting), is a yogic cleansing technique which involves voluntarily inducing vomiting after drinking saline water (5%) on empty stomach. This study was designed with an objective to understand the effect of voluntary induced vomiting (ViV) on pulmonary functions in experienced practitioners and novices and derive its possible therapeutic applications. Eighteen healthy individuals volunteered for the study of which nine had prior experience of ViV while nine did not. Pulmonary function tests were performed before and after 10 min of rest following ViV. Analysis of Covariance was performed adjusted for gender and baseline values. No significant changes were observed across genders. The results of the present study suggest a significant increase in Slow Vital Capacity [F(1,13) = 5.699; p = 0.03] and Forced Inspiratory Volume in 1st Second [p = 0.02] and reduction in Expiratory Reserve Volume [F(1,13) = 5.029; p = 0.04] and Respiratory Rate [F(1,13) = 3.244, p = 0.09]. These changes suggest the possible role of ViV in enhancing the endurance of the respiratory muscles, decreased airway resistance, better emptying of lungs and vagal predominance respectively. We conclude that ViV when practiced regularly enhances the endurance of the respiratory muscles and decreases airway resistance. These findings also indicate need for scientific understanding of ViV in the management of motion sickness and restrictive pulmonary disorders like bronchitis and bronchial asthma.