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Yoga Research Abstracts
 
"Yoga breathing through a particular nostril increases spatial memory scores without lateralized effects," by Naveen KV; Nagarathna R; Nagendra HR; Telles S., of the Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India, in Psychol Rep, 1997 Oct, 81:2, 555-61.
Abstract
Uninostril breathing facilitates the performance on spatial and verbal cognitive tasks, said to be right and left brain functions, respectively. Since hemispheric memory functions are also known to be lateralized, the present study assessed the effects of uninostril breathing on the performance in verbal and spatial memory tests. School children (N = 108 whose ages ranged from 10 to 17 years) were randomly assigned to four groups. Each group practiced a specific yoga breathing technique: (i) right nostril breathing, (ii) left nostril breathing, (iii) alternate nostril breathing, or (iv) breath awareness without manipulation of nostrils. These techniques were practiced for 10 days. Verbal and spatial memory was assessed initially and after 10 days. An age-matched control group of 27 were similarly assessed. All 4 trained groups showed a significant increase in spatial test scores at retest, but the control group showed no change. Average increase in spatial memory scores for the trained groups was 84%. It appears yoga breathing increases spatial rather than verbal scores, without a lateralized effect.
 
"Pranayama increases grip strength without lateralized effects," Raghuraj P; Nagarathna R; Nagendra HR; Telles S of the Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India, in the Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 1997 Apr, 41:2, 129-33.
Abstract
The present study was conducted to determine whether breathing through a particular nostril has a lateralized effect on hand grip strength. 130 right hand dominant, school children between 11 and 18 yrs of age were randomly assigned to 5 groups. Each group had a specific yoga practice in addition to the regular program for a 10 day yoga camp. The practices were: (1) right-, (2) left-, (3) alternate- nostril breathing (4), breath awareness and (5) practice of mudras. Hand grip strength of both hands was assessed initially and at the end of 10 days for all 5 groups. The right-, left- and alternate-nostril breathing groups had a significant increase in grip strength of both hands, ranging from 4.1% to 6.5%, at the end of the camp though without any lateralization effect. The breath awareness and mudra groups showed no change. Hence the present results suggest that yoga breathing through a particular nostril, or through alternate nostrils increases hand grip strength of both hands without lateralization.
 

"Comparing Hatha yoga with dynamic group psychotherapy for enhancing methadone maintenance treatment: a randomized clinical trial," by Shaffer HJ; LaSalvia TA; Stein JP, of Division on Addictions, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA, in Altern Ther Health Med, 1997 Jul, 3:4, 57-66.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: As more methadone treatment programs are funded in an attempt to curb substance abuse and HIV infection among i.v. drug users, more cost effective treatment approaches are being sought. OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether clients in outpatient methadone maintenance treatment who practice weekly Hatha yoga in a group setting experience more favorable treatment outcomes than those who receive conventional group psychodynamic therapy. METHODS: After a 5-day assessment period, 61 patients were randomly assigned to methadone maintenance enhanced by traditional group psychotherapy (ie, conventional methadone treatment) or an alternative Hatha yoga therapy (ie, alternative methadone treatment). Patients were followed for 6 months and evaluated on a variety of psychological, sociological, and biological measures. The revised Symptom Check List provided the primary psychological measures; the Addiction Severity Index provided various indices of addictive behaviors. RESULTS: The evidence revealed that there were no meaningful differences between traditional psychodynamic group therapy and Hatha yoga presented in a group setting. Both treatments contributed to a treatment regimen that significantly reduced drug use and criminal activities. Psychopathology at admission was significantly related to program participation regardless of treatment group. DISCUSSION: In addition to examining the characteristics of patients who present for treatment, this study identifies unexpected staff issues that complicate the integration of alternative and traditional treatment strategies. CONCLUSION: Alternative methadone treatment is not more effective than conventional methadone treatment, as originally hypothesized. However, some patients may benefit more from alternative methadone treatment than conventional methadone treatment. Additional research is necessary to determine characteristics that identify patients who might benefit from alternative methadone treatment.

 

"Mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program," by B. Roth and T. Creaser (Stress Reduction Program, Community Health Center, Meriden, Conn.), in Nurse Practitioner, March 22, 1997.
Abstract
This article describes a bilingual mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program in an inner-city setting. Mindfulness meditation is defined, and the practices of breathing meditation, eating meditation, walking meditation, and mindful yoga are described. Data analysis examined compliance, medical and psychologic symptom reduction, and changes in self-esteem, of English- and Spanish-speaking patients who completed the 8-week Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program at the Community Health Center in Meriden, Conn. Statistically significant decreases in medical and psychologic symptoms and improvement in self-esteem were found. Many program completers reported dramatic changes in attitudes, beliefs, habits, and behaviors. Despite the limitations of the research design, these findings suggest that a mindfulness meditation course can be an effective health care intervention when utilized by English- and Spanish-speaking patients in an inner-city community health center. The article includes a discussion of factors to be considered when establishing a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program in a health care setting."

"Study of pulmonary and autonomic functions of asthma patients after yoga training," by A.A. Khanam, U. Sachdeva, R. Guleria and K.K. Deepak (Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi) in Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oct. 24, 1996.
Abstract
"The concept of yoga is helpful for the treatment of Bronchial Asthma", has created a great interest in the medical research field. In order to investigate whether autonomic functions and pulmonary functions are improved in asthma patients after short term yoga training, a study was conducted with nine diagnosed bronchial asthma patients. Yoga training was given for seven days in a camp in Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra, New Delhi. The autonomic function tests to measure the parasympathetic reactivity (Deep Breathing test, Valsalva Manouever), Sympathetic reactivity (Hand Grip test, Cold Pressure test), and pulmonary function tests FVC, FEV1, PEFR, PIF, BHT and CE were recorded before and after yoga training. The resting heart rate after yoga training (P < 0.05) was significantly decreased (89.55 +/- 18.46/min to 76.22 +/- 16.44/min). The sympathetic reactivity was reduced following yoga training as indicated by significant (P < 0.01) reduction in DBP after HGT. There was no change in parasympathetic reactivity. The FVC, FEV1, PEFR did not show any significant change. The PIF (P < 0.01), BHT (P < 0.01) and CE (P < 0.01) showed significant improvement. The results closely indicated the reduction in sympathetic reactivity and improvement in the pulmonary ventilation by way of relaxation of voluntary inspiratory and expiratory muscles. The "comprehensive yogic life style change programme for patients of Bronchial Asthma" have shown significant benefit even within a short period."

"Clinical case report: efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders," by D.S. Shannahoff-Khalsa and L.R. Beckett (Research Group for Mind-Body Dynamics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla Calif.), in International Journal of Neuroscience, March 1996.
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of eight adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A specific yogic breathing pattern has been prescribed for the treatment of OCD, as well as others for treating generalized anxiety. A one year course of therapy was followed. Subjects improved on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) comparing baseline with three, six, nine, & 12 month results (one-way ANOVA for repeated measures, F(4,12) = 3.343, p < .001), anxiety (t = 3.167, p < .051), and global severity indexes (t = 7.314, p = .005). Perceived Stress Scale scores showed significant improvement for the five test periods (one-way ANOVA for repeated measures, F(4,12) = 9.114, p."
 

 

 "Effect of Sahaja yoga practice on seizure control & EEG changes in patients of epilepsy," by U. Panjwani, W. Selvamurthy, S.H. Singh, H.L. Gupta, L. Thakur and U.C. Rai (Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India) in Indian Journal of Medical Research, March .
 
Abstract
The effect of Sahaja yoga meditation on seizure control and electroencephalographic alterations was assessed in 32 patients of idiopathic epilepsy. The subjects were randomly divided into 3 groups. Group I (n = 10) practised Sahaja yoga for 6 months, Group II (n = 10) practised exercises mimicking Sahaja yoga for 6 months and Group III (n = 12) served as the epileptic control group. Group I subjects reported a 62 per cent decrease in seizure frequency at 3 months and a further decrease of 86 per cent at 6 months of intervention. Power spectral analysis of EEG showed a shift in frequency from 0-8 Hz towards 8-20 Hz. The ratios of EEG powers in delta (D), theta (T), alpha (A) and beta (B) bands i.e., A/D, A/D + T, A/T and A + B/D + T were increased. Per cent D power decreased and per cent A increased. No significant changes in any of the parameters were found in Groups II and III, indicating that Sahaja yoga practice brings about seizure reduction and EEG changes. Sahaja yoga could prove to be beneficial in the management of patients of epilepsy.


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