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Yoga for your asthma

Kim

Suddenly, yoga is ‘in’ again. Yoga clubs are mushrooming everywhere, in schools, at the work place, anywhere.

There was a time in the distant past when yoga was an activity favored by so-called followers of New Age philosophy.

A news item from Reuters Health prepared by Will Boggs MD says that yoga may help relieve asthma symptoms.

He writes that yoga seems to provide small improvements in symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, according to a new review.

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The practice of yoga includes breathing exercises, postures (called asanas), and meditation. The over-all effect on mind and body is one of relief, sense of peace.

Some doctors propose yoga as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, including asthma.

Scientific studies, however, have shown inconsistent results.

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The Reuters story says that Dr. Jin-Ling Tang from The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Prince of Wales Hospital looked at the evidence from 15 studies involving more than 1,000 asthma patients to see whether yoga provided significant benefits.

One third of these studies included only yoga breathing exercises, and the rest included breathing, postures, and meditation. The yoga practice lasted anywhere from two weeks to four and a half years, though it was less than six months in most studies.

Overall, yoga slightly improved symptoms and quality of life and reduced the need for medications.

The quality of the evidence, though, was moderate at best, and the effects of yoga on lung function were far from consistent.

Finally, it is important to note that breathing techniques are an essential part of yoga if one hopes to use it as a way to overcome asthma.

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Send your questions on anything and everything to Kuya Kim through my Twitter account @kuyakim_atienza using #AlaminKayKuyaKim.

Ating tuklasin ang mga bagay-bagay na di niyo pa alam. Walang ’di susuungin, lahat aalamin. Ito po si Kuya Kim, Matanglawin, only here in Tempo. (KIM ATIENZA)

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