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BACKGROUND: Yoga is found to be effective in reducing stress levels and radiation-induced DNA damage, and improving the quality of life, in breast cancer patients. The present study was aimed at comparing the apoptotic index (AI) and DNA damage of advanced yoga practitioners with those of breast cancer patients.MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional pilot study compared three groups (n = 9 each) of age-matched subjects viz. (1) Carcinoma breast patients in stage II or III undergoing radiation therapy after completing three cycles of chemotherapy; (2) Senior yoga practitioners who were practicing asanas, pranayama and meditation daily for more than 10 years; and (3) Normal healthy volunteers. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were isolated, and qualitative DNA damage (QDD) and AI were evaluated by single-cell gel electrophoresis assay. Approximately 500 cells were counted in each case. Number of cells that were normal, undergoing apoptosis, and with DNA damage were categorized and percentages were calculated. RESULTS: Data being normally distributed, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed significant interaction between groups in AI (P = 0.016) and QDD (P = 0.045). On post-hoc analysis using Scheffe test, AI was significantly lower in non-yoga volunteers as compared with the breast cancer group (P = 0.019) and QDD was significantly lower in yoga practitioners when compared with non-yoga volunteers (P = 0.047). CONCLUSION: Cellular dysfunction (QDD) requires restorative mechanisms (AI) to restore the system to a balance. The results of this pilot study show trends, which indicate that in ill-health, there is inadequate restorative mechanisms (AI) although dysfunction (QDD) is high. Through regular practice of yoga, cellular dysfunction can be lowered, thus necessitating reduced restorative mechanisms. AI and QDD could also be useful indicators for predicting the three zones of health viz. disease, health, and positive health.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of integrated yoga practice and guided yogic relaxation on both perceived stress and measured autonomic response in healthy pregnant women.METHOD: The 122 healthy women recruited between the 18th and 20th week of pregnancy at prenatal clinics in Bangalore, India, were randomized to practicing yoga and deep relaxation or standard prenatal exercises 1-hour daily. The results for the 45 participants per group who completed the study were evaluated by repeated measures analysis of variance. RESULTS: Perceived stress decreased by 31.57% in the yoga group and increased by 6.60% in the control group (P=0.001). During a guided relaxation period in the yoga group, compared with values obtained before a practice session, the high-frequency band of the heart rate variability spectrum (parasympathetic) increased by 64% in the 20th week and by 150% in the 36th week, and both the low-frequency band (sympathetic), and the low-frequency to high-frequency ratio were concomitantly reduced (P<0.001 between the 2 groups). Moreover, the low-frequency band remained decreased after deep relaxation in the 36th week in the yoga group. CONCLUSION: Yoga reduces perceived stress and improves adaptive autonomic response to stress in healthy pregnant women.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of integrated yoga practice and guided yogic relaxation on both perceived stress and measured autonomic response in healthy pregnant women.METHOD: The 122 healthy women recruited between the 18th and 20th week of pregnancy at prenatal clinics in Bangalore, India, were randomized to practicing yoga and deep relaxation or standard prenatal exercises 1-hour daily. The results for the 45 participants per group who completed the study were evaluated by repeated measures analysis of variance. RESULTS: Perceived stress decreased by 31.57% in the yoga group and increased by 6.60% in the control group (P=0.001). During a guided relaxation period in the yoga group, compared with values obtained before a practice session, the high-frequency band of the heart rate variability spectrum (parasympathetic) increased by 64% in the 20th week and by 150% in the 36th week, and both the low-frequency band (sympathetic), and the low-frequency to high-frequency ratio were concomitantly reduced (P<0.001 between the 2 groups). Moreover, the low-frequency band remained decreased after deep relaxation in the 36th week in the yoga group. CONCLUSION: Yoga reduces perceived stress and improves adaptive autonomic response to stress in healthy pregnant women.

AIM: To study the effect of integrated yoga on pain, morning stiffness and anxiety in osteoarthritis of knees.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and fifty participants with OA knees (35-80 years) were randomly assigned to yoga or control group. Both groups had transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment followed by intervention (40 min) for two weeks with follow up for three months. The integrated yoga consisted of yogic loosening and strengthening practices, asanas, relaxation, pranayama and meditation. The control group had physiotherapy exercises. Assessments were done on 15(th) (post 1) and 90(th) day (post 2). RESULTS: Resting pain (numerical rating scale) reduced better (P<0.001, Mann-Whitney U test) in yoga group (post 1=33.6% and post 2=71.8%) than control group (post 1=13.4% and post 2=37.5%). Morning stiffness decreased more (P<0.001) in yoga (post 1=68.6% and post 2=98.1%) than control group (post 1=38.6% and post 2=71.6%). State anxiety (STAI-1) reduced (P<0.001) by 35.5% (post 1) and 58.4% (post 2) in the yoga group and 15.6% (post 1) and 38.8% (post 2) in the control group; trait anxiety (STAI 2) reduced (P<0.001) better (post 1=34.6% and post 2=57.10%) in yoga than control group (post 1=14.12% and post 2=34.73%). Systolic blood pressure reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-7.93% and post 2=-15.7%) than the control group (post 1=-1.8% and post 2=-3.8%). Diastolic blood pressure reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-7.6% and post 2=-16.4%) than the control group (post 1=-2.1% and post 2=-5.0%). Pulse rate reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-8.41% and post 2=-12.4%) than the control group (post 1=-5.1% and post 2=-7.1%). CONCLUSION: Integrated approach of yoga therapy is better than physiotherapy exercises as an adjunct to transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment in reducing pain, morning stiffness, state and trait anxiety, blood pressure and pulse rate in patients with OA knees.

AIM: To study the effect of integrated yoga on pain, morning stiffness and anxiety in osteoarthritis of knees.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and fifty participants with OA knees (35-80 years) were randomly assigned to yoga or control group. Both groups had transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment followed by intervention (40 min) for two weeks with follow up for three months. The integrated yoga consisted of yogic loosening and strengthening practices, asanas, relaxation, pranayama and meditation. The control group had physiotherapy exercises. Assessments were done on 15(th) (post 1) and 90(th) day (post 2). RESULTS: Resting pain (numerical rating scale) reduced better (P<0.001, Mann-Whitney U test) in yoga group (post 1=33.6% and post 2=71.8%) than control group (post 1=13.4% and post 2=37.5%). Morning stiffness decreased more (P<0.001) in yoga (post 1=68.6% and post 2=98.1%) than control group (post 1=38.6% and post 2=71.6%). State anxiety (STAI-1) reduced (P<0.001) by 35.5% (post 1) and 58.4% (post 2) in the yoga group and 15.6% (post 1) and 38.8% (post 2) in the control group; trait anxiety (STAI 2) reduced (P<0.001) better (post 1=34.6% and post 2=57.10%) in yoga than control group (post 1=14.12% and post 2=34.73%). Systolic blood pressure reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-7.93% and post 2=-15.7%) than the control group (post 1=-1.8% and post 2=-3.8%). Diastolic blood pressure reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-7.6% and post 2=-16.4%) than the control group (post 1=-2.1% and post 2=-5.0%). Pulse rate reduced (P<0.001) better in yoga group (post 1=-8.41% and post 2=-12.4%) than the control group (post 1=-5.1% and post 2=-7.1%). CONCLUSION: Integrated approach of yoga therapy is better than physiotherapy exercises as an adjunct to transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment in reducing pain, morning stiffness, state and trait anxiety, blood pressure and pulse rate in patients with OA knees.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the effects of an integrated yoga program with brief supportive therapy in breast cancer outpatients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy at a cancer centre.METHODS: Eighty-eight stage II and III breast cancer outpatients were randomly assigned to receive yoga (n = 44) or brief supportive therapy (n = 44) prior to their radiotherapy treatment. Intervention consisted of yoga sessions lasting 60 min daily while the control group was imparted supportive therapy once in 10 days. Assessments included European Organization for Research in the Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life (EORTCQoL C30) functional scales and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Assessments were done at baseline and after 6 weeks of radiotherapy treatment. RESULTS: An intention to treat GLM repeated measures ANOVA showed significant difference across groups over time for positive affect, negative affect and emotional function and social function. There was significant improvement in positive affect (ES = 0.59, p = 0.007, 95%CI 1.25 to 7.8), emotional function (ES = 0.71, p = 0.001, 95%CI 6.45 to 25.33) and cognitive function (ES = 0.48, p = 0.03, 95%CI 1.2 to 18.5), and decrease in negative affect (ES = 0.84, p<0.001, 95%CI -13.4 to -4.4) in the yoga group as compared to controls. There was a significant positive correlation between positive affect with role function, social function and global quality of life. There was a significant negative correlation between negative affect with physical function, role function, emotional function and social function. CONCLUSION: The results suggest a possible role for yoga to improve quality of life and affect in breast cancer outpatients.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the effects of an integrated yoga program with brief supportive therapy on distressful symptoms in breast cancer outpatients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty-eight stage II and III breast cancer outpatients were randomly assigned to receive yoga (n = 44) or brief supportive therapy (n = 44) prior to their radiotherapy treatment. Intervention consisted of yoga sessions lasting 60 min daily while the control group was imparted supportive therapy once in 10 days during the course of their adjuvant radiotherapy. Assessments included Rotterdam Symptom Check List and European Organization for Research in the Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life (EORTC QoL C30) symptom scale. Assessments were done at baseline and after 6 weeks of radiotherapy treatment. RESULTS: A GLM repeated-measures ANOVA showed a significant decrease in psychological distress (P = 0.01), fatigue (P = 0.007), insomnia (P = 0.001), and appetite loss (P = 0.002) over time in the yoga group as compared to controls. There was significant improvement in the activity level (P = 0.02) in the yoga group as compared to controls. There was a significant positive correlation between physical and psychological distress and fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, dyspnea, insomnia, appetite loss, and constipation. There was a significant negative correlation between the activity level and fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, dyspnea, insomnia, and appetite loss. CONCLUSION: The results suggest beneficial effects with yoga intervention in managing cancer-and treatment-related symptoms in breast cancer patients.

Purpose Previous research incorporating yoga (YG) into radiotherapy (XRT) for women with breast cancer finds improved quality of life (QOL). However, shortcomings in this research limit the findings. Patients and Methods Patients with stages 0 to III breast cancer were recruited before starting XRT and were randomly assigned to YG (n = 53) or stretching (ST; n = 56) three times a week for 6 weeks during XRT or waitlist (WL; n = 54) control. Self-report measures of QOL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form survey; primary outcomes), fatigue, depression, and sleep quality, and five saliva samples per day for 3 consecutive days were collected at baseline, end of treatment, and 1, 3, and 6 months later. Results The YG group had significantly greater increases in physical component scale scores compared with the WL group at 1 and 3 months after XRT (P = .01 and P = .01). At 1, 3, and 6 months, the YG group had greater increases in physical functioning compared with both ST and WL groups (P < .05), with ST and WL differences at only 3 months (P < .02). The group differences were similar for general health reports. By the end of XRT, the YG and ST groups also had a reduction in fatigue (P < .05). There were no group differences for mental health and sleep quality. Cortisol slope was steepest for the YG group compared with the ST and WL groups at the end (P = .023 and P = .008) and 1 month after XRT (P = .05 and P = .04). Conclusion YG improved QOL and physiological changes associated with XRT beyond the benefits of simple ST exercises, and these benefits appear to have long-term durability.

Purpose Previous research incorporating yoga (YG) into radiotherapy (XRT) for women with breast cancer finds improved quality of life (QOL). However, shortcomings in this research limit the findings. Patients and Methods Patients with stages 0 to III breast cancer were recruited before starting XRT and were randomly assigned to YG (n = 53) or stretching (ST; n = 56) three times a week for 6 weeks during XRT or waitlist (WL; n = 54) control. Self-report measures of QOL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form survey; primary outcomes), fatigue, depression, and sleep quality, and five saliva samples per day for 3 consecutive days were collected at baseline, end of treatment, and 1, 3, and 6 months later. Results The YG group had significantly greater increases in physical component scale scores compared with the WL group at 1 and 3 months after XRT (P = .01 and P = .01). At 1, 3, and 6 months, the YG group had greater increases in physical functioning compared with both ST and WL groups (P < .05), with ST and WL differences at only 3 months (P < .02). The group differences were similar for general health reports. By the end of XRT, the YG and ST groups also had a reduction in fatigue (P < .05). There were no group differences for mental health and sleep quality. Cortisol slope was steepest for the YG group compared with the ST and WL groups at the end (P = .023 and P = .008) and 1 month after XRT (P = .05 and P = .04). Conclusion YG improved QOL and physiological changes associated with XRT beyond the benefits of simple ST exercises, and these benefits appear to have long-term durability.