Researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have found that yoga exercises provide improvements that are just as effective as traditional pulmonary rehabilitation methods in improving lung function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a progressive lung disorder that makes it hard to breathe. The researchers found that yoga can improve pulmonary function, exercise capacity, and indices of systemic inflammation in patients with COPD.
"Yoga is a cost-effective form of rehabilitation and is as effective as a standard PMR (pulmonary rehabilitation)," said the study by Randeep Guleria and colleagues from AIIMS.
For the study, 60 patients with COPD were randomly divided into two groups. One group was taught yoga exercises including asanas, pranayam, meditation and relaxation techniques. The other underwent a structured pulmonary rehabilitation program.
These groups were tested on shortness of breath, serum inflammation, and lung function tests. Results showed that yoga and pulmonary rehabilitation exercises resulted in similar improvements in pulmonary function and quality of life after 12 weeks of training.
The findings appeared in the journal Chest