The new report presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress today revealed that yoga has hidden benefits for atrial fibrillation patients. Different yoga postures and breathing techniques can improve the health of heart patients.
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart-related problems which affected one in four people in Europe and the US. It is responsible for more than 20% of the strokes and early death caused by heart-related complications.
This risk is 1.5 times higher in men and nearly 2 times higher in women. It means women are more likely to receive yoga health benefits.
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Overall, atrial fibrillation affects the life of all patients as it lowers their life quality. Up to 40% of atrial fibrillation patients end up at hospitals due to complications. The common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include a racing heart, irregular heartbeat, palpitations, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, and chest pain.
The first author of this study, author Dr. Naresh Sen from HG SMS Hospital says that these symptoms limit a person to lead a normal life.
All these symptoms are distressing and not just for the heart patient but for his family and loved ones too. These symptoms repeatedly come and go on their own but leave the patient feel more anxiety and cause an inability to live a healthy life.
The study was targeted to find out how yoga can work on these symptoms and make the health of heart patients better. The research team studied 538 patients from 2012 to 2017, all of whom were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
For the first twelve weeks, none of these patients did yoga or any other exercise. After that, they were allowed to do a 30-minute session on alternate days of yoga for sixteen weeks. These yoga practices included different postures and breathing control exercises. During this period, they were also suggested to try the same practices at home daily.
The data on occurrence and intensity of atrial fibrillation symptoms were recorded for both periods, with and without yoga. Some of these patients were tracked using a heart monitor to make sure that these atrial fibrillation symptoms are occurring for real.
By the end of this study, all of the participants also worked on a survey disusing stress and anxiety during this time. the purpose of filling out this questionnaire was to assess their feelings, stress levels, mood changes, and energy levels.
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In addition to this, their heart rate, as well as blood pressure, were also recorded. These details were then compared with each other to find out the benefits of yoga for these heart patients.
The final studies report that after a sixteen-week follow up with yoga, most of the patients experienced an overall improvement in their symptoms as compared to the twelve-week non-yoga period. The blood pressure and heart rate were also recorded normally during the yoga period.
This study suggests that not only the medicine and but the healing therapies like yoga can also work on atrial fibrillation patients. Hence practices like these should be made a part of the conventional therapies for heart patients.