Got COPD? Yoga May Help You

yoga pose exercise elderly African American black woman

Patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) who practice yoga can improve their lung function, according to a study by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders. The study, presented at CHEST 2013, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that lung function, shortness of breath, and inflammation all showed significant improvement after patients completed 12 weeks of training.

What is COPD? An estimated 24 million Americans may have COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Patients with COPD have trouble pushing used air out of their lungs, making it difficult to take in healthy new air. Although there is no cure for COPD, a patient’s quality of life can be improved by controlling symptoms, such as shortness of breath. COPD, most commonly caused by cigarette smoking, affects both men and women, and often, symptoms are seen in people in their 40s.

“COPD is a systemic inflammatory disease that causes difficulty breathing,” said study presenter Randeep Guleria, MD, professor and head, department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders. “We investigated to see whether simple, structured yoga training affects the level of inflammation, shortness of breath, and quality of life in patients with stable COPD. “We found that yoga can be a simple, cost-effective method that can help improve quality of life in patients with COPD,” stated Dr. Guleria.”

My Take: Small study in need of confirmation, but intriguing and hypothesis generating. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

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Reference: American College of Chest Physicians (2013, October 28). Yoga practice beneficial to patients with COPD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2013/10/131028114836.htm