According to a new research, published in the European Society of Cardiology, breathing exercise and many yoga postures, if practiced regularly, can have a very positive effect on patients who are suffering from atrial fibrillation.
The study was presented on August 24 at the ESC Congress 2020.
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart rhythm disorders. This particular form of heart rhythm disorder, is responsible for more than 20-30% of all strokes. It also increases the risk of death by 1.5-fold in men and 2-fold in women. Reduced quality of life is common, and 10-40% of patients are hospitalised each year.
Some of the common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include racing or irregular pulse, feeling tired all the time, dizziness. Other prominent symptoms include palpitations and chest pain.
Dr. Naresh Sen of HG SMS Hospital, Jaipur, India was the lead author of the study. “The symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be distressing. They come and go, causing many patients to feel anxious and limiting their ability to live a normal life,” he said.
This study examined whether yoga poses could help remove symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation. In order to examine the effect of yoga poses on such symptoms, 538 patients were enrolled from 2012-2017. Patients served as their own controls.
For 12 weeks, these people did no yoga at all. After that, they slowly tuned to yoga, and started doing yoga for 30-minute every other day. They did some yoga postures and breathing exercise for 16 weeks. Patients were asked to practice yoga and breathing exercise at home on a daily basis.
During both study periods, symptoms and episodes of atrial fibrillation were recorded in a diary. Some patients also wore a heart monitor to verify atrial fibrillation episodes.
During the 16-week yoga period, patients experienced improvement in symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation compared to the 12-week non-yoga period.
During the 12-week non-yoga period, patients experienced an average of 15 symptomatic episodes of atrial fibrillation. While in the 16-week yoga period, they experienced only eight such episodes.