COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) affects the lives of more than three million people every year. For COPD patients, the lungs have trouble exhaling air when they breathe. This causes them to feel tightness in the chest and lots of pain.
Currently, there are few treatment options available to relieve COPD patients of their pain. Yoga breathing, or Pranayama, is a new option for COPD therapy. Patients practice slow, controlled breathing with guidance from professional yoga instructors. This therapy has been proven effective as a long term, inexpensive therapy for COPD.
Lowering the Cost of COPD Therapy
In partnership with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, University of Vermont researchers have found a new therapy for COPD. Fortunately, it only costs the time of one instruction session by a professional yoga instructor!
Each university did an independent study on the effects of yoga breathing on exercise tolerance in COPD patients. The studies each lasted twelve weeks and involved two groups: a yoga breathing group and a control group. Before the study started, both groups were tested on their symptoms, lung function, and exercise capacity. They were then tested again following the study to record the differences.
During the study, the yoga breathing group was educated on COPD and taught pranayama, while the other group was simply educated on COPD. Results showed the yoga breathing group to have a significant increase in lung function and breathability, while those in the control group did not experience much, if any, change in their abilities to cope with COPD. These results show the effectiveness of yoga breathing on COPD symptoms.
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