Tags: Heart Disease | High Blood Pressure | yoga | heart | rate | blood | pressure

Yoga Lowers Heart Rate, Blood Pressure

Yoga Lowers Heart Rate, Blood Pressure
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 March 2016 04:33 PM

Yoga not only improves quality of life in people with heart-rhythm problems, but also lowers their blood pressure and heart rate, new research shows.

The findings, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, indicate the mind-body relaxation practice can significantly help patients with the condition known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).

"Many patients with (AF) can't live their lives as they want to — they refuse dinners with friends, concerts, and travelling — because they are afraid of an AF episode occurring," said Maria Wahlström, a nurse with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

"AF episodes are accompanied by chest pain, dyspnea, and dizziness. These symptoms are unpleasant and patients feel anxious, worried and stressed that an AF episode will occur. Most patients are still working and take sick leave to visit the hospital. Many patients with AF use complementary therapies so it is necessary to find out if they actually help."

AF is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder, affecting up to 2 percent of the general population. There is no cure for AF, and treatment focuses on relief of symptoms and the prevention of complications such as stroke using medication and various procedures.

For the new study, yoga was performed by heart patients for one hour, once a week, for 12 weeks in the hospital with an experienced instructor. The yoga program included light movements, deep breathing, and meditation.

After 12 weeks, the yoga practitioners had higher mental health scores, lower heart rate, and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, when compared to a similar group of heart patients who did not engage in the practice.

"We found that patients who did yoga had a better quality of life, lower heart rate and lower blood pressure than patients who did not do yoga," Wahlström said. "If could be that the deep breathing balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leading to less variation in heart rate. The breathing and movement may have beneficial effects on blood pressure."

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Yoga not only improves quality of life in people with heart-rhythm problems, but also lowers their blood pressure and heart rate, scientists report.
yoga, heart, rate, blood, pressure
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2016-33-16
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 04:33 PM
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