Yoga practice improves symptoms in heart patients
The best-known oriental discipline, yoga, would allow patients with atrial fibrillation to better cope with this disease by reducing the frequency of episodes. The researchers say that this practice would be beneficial for high blood pressure, provided, however, that you participate in very regular sessions for several weeks.
Yoga is considered a "gentle" physical practice, but it has many benefits for the body: it improves sleep, reduces anxiety, or even alleviates musculoskeletal disorders. This practice, which promotes the union of body and mind, is based in particular on asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (yogic breathing). A study conducted by researchers at the HG SMS hospital in Jaipur in India and presented at a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) conference claims that yoga would also be beneficial for heart health and in particular with regard to patients with atrial fibrillation.
The latter notes that yoga poses and breathing could help atrial fibrillation patients manage their symptoms. Atrial fibrillation (AF) (or atrial fibrillation) is a heart rhythm disorder that causes the heart to race and make it beat irregularly. This can remain asymptomatic or lead to heart palpitations, more or less marked dyspnea, and chest pain. According to the Health Insurance, it affects 1% of the general population, but especially the elderly population (more than 10% of those over 80 years of age) and 20 to 30% of strokes are secondary to atrial fibrillation.
Several weeks of posture and breathing work
"Symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be distressing. They come and go, causing anxiety in many patients and limiting their ability to lead normal lives," says lead study author Dr. Naresh Sen. The researchers wanted to know if yoga practice could alleviate symptoms in patients with atrial fibrillation. They recruited 538 patients between 2012 and 2017 who initially did not do yoga for 12 weeks and then did 30-minute sessions every other day for 16 weeks, which included postures and breathing to practice as well. at home every day.
During the two study periods, symptoms and episodes of atrial fibrillation were recorded in a diary for each patient. Some of them also wore a heart monitor to confirm the occurrence of these episodes of atrial fibrillation and to establish their frequency and severity. The patients also completed a survey on their feelings of anxiety and depression and a questionnaire that assessed their ability to perform daily activities and socialize (their energy level and mood). Finally, their heart rate and blood pressure were also measured and the researchers then compared the results between periods of yoga and "no yoga".
"Yoga has benefits for physical and mental health"
It turns out that during the 16-week period of yoga, the patients experienced significant improvements in all areas compared to the 12-week period without practicing. For example, during the "no yoga" period, patients experienced an average of 15 episodes of atrial fibrillation compared to eight episodes during the yoga period. Also, the mean blood pressure was 11/6 mmHg lower after a yoga session. However, cardiac pathologies are more frequently involved in the appearance of atrial fibrillation and, in particular, arterial hypertension, an abnormal increase in blood pressure in the wall of the arteries.
"Our study suggests that yoga has many mental and physical health benefits for patients with atrial fibrillation and could be added to routine therapies," concludes Dr. Naresh Sen.
Note that this is not the first time that researchers have highlighted the benefits of regular yoga practice for people with chronic conditions. Thus, last November a study published in the "Journal of General Internal" revealed that yoga and other physical therapy practices are effective approaches to treat sleep disorders and chronic back pain while reducing the need for medication.