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ACSM: Yoga Can Benefit Patients With Asthma

Ten-week program leads to significant decrease in heart rate variability, improved quality of life

FRIDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asthma, yoga therapy may significantly improve heart rate variability and quality of life, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held from May 27 to 30 in Seattle.

Amy J. Bidwell, of Syracuse University in New York, and colleagues randomly assigned 20 patients to either a 10-week yoga training program or to a control group.

The researchers found that yoga training was associated with a significant decrease in heart rate variability during a handgrip test, suggesting that it helped decrease hyperactivity of the vagal nerve. They also found that the yoga group's baseline scores on the St. George's Respiratory Quality of Care Questionnaire improved by 42.5 percent.

"Modern medicine carries many side effects," Bidwell said in a statement. "This is especially true with corticosteroids, which many asthmatics take for quick relief. Yoga is an excellent alterative because there are no side effects. It's a natural, holistic discipline that can benefit a person's body in many ways."

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