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While people the world over have been touting Yoga as an effective tool for achieving peak physical and mental health for a very long time, this might be one of the first few times scientific evidence has emerged to support the use of Yoga to improve one’s health.
According to a new Cochrane Review, Yoga can have a drastically positive impact on asthma, not only combating the symptoms of the respiratory condition but improving one’s overall quality of life.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that has gained considerable popularity over the last few years. Involving a combination of physical postures and breathing exercises which are purposed towards achieving relaxation, the number of people who practice Yoga has continued to rise. Millions of men and women around the world utilize the exercise as a complementary element to their health practices.
The popularity of Yoga has been driven primarily by reports touting many benefits the activity can deliver, this including its ability to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, not to mention the relief it can bring to patients of chronic pains.
This isn’t the first time medical research has attempted to claim that Yoga can benefit people with asthma. However, previous studies have been less conclusive, in many cases finding little in the way of proof of claims that Yoga can actually help patients of asthma.
According to the researchers, whose work was published in the Cochrane Library, the research surrounding this topic has only served to confuse individuals with asthma. Doctor Zuyao Yang, the lead author, explained that most asthma patients do not know whether or not they should begin devoting their time and resources to Yoga.
In trying to provide definitive answers to this issue, as well as giving clarity to asthma patients struggling with the notion of doing Yoga to improve their condition, the systematic reviews Doctor Yang and his colleagues did involved fifteen randomized and controlled trials constituting 1,048 adults with mild to moderate asthma.
Of the 15 studies, 10 assessed the impact of Yoga that involved breathing, meditation, and posture. The other five were solely focused on Yoga that only constituted breathing.
Most of the participants were encouraged to keep using their asthma medication during the studies (some of which lasted up to four years).
Following the reviews, Doctor Yang and his team found evidence proving that the use of Yoga indeed reduced some of the symptoms of asthma even while improving the overall quality of life.
On the whole, though, the researchers found no evidence to suggest that the meditative practice improved lung function. The results from the different studies were quite varied.
It is still unclear whether the use of Yoga can reduce the need for asthma medication. The researchers admitted that, at the moment, it was impossible to make any conclusive determinations about the impact Yoga could have on asthma and its symptoms.
None the less, the moderate-quality results from Doctor Yang’s work opens the door for additional research. A large number of people have a strong belief that there is a place for Yoga in combating asthma and its symptoms.