CM News – Is yoga a energy-demanding physical exercise? A recent study proves that the exercise physiology of yoga is comparable to conventional physical exercises.
The study was done in India and has been published in the Oxford Journal of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The aim of this study was to critically observe the energy expenditure, exercise intensity and respiratory changes during a full yoga practice session. Oxygen consumption (VO2), carbon dioxide output (VCO2), pulmonary ventilation (VE), respiratory rate (Fr) and tidal volume (VT), were measured in 16 physical posture (asanas), five yoga breathing maneuvers (BM) and two types of meditation.
How effective yoga is as an exercise?
Studies have indicated that:
- Long-term yoga practice improves depth of breathing and alters chemoreceptive sensitivity.
- Yoga also reduces metabolic rate in healthy subjects.
- Meditation leads to hypo-metabolic state.
- Yoga improves physical performance, body flexibility and mental health.
- Its therapeutic potentials in various diseases particularly for life-style-related ones have been explored and are being utilized. The four leading risk factors like overweight, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and cholesterol, which are linked to life-style-related chronic diseases, may be reduced by yoga intervention.
- Yoga helped to improve physical performance and to reduce the level of inflammatory markers in chronic heart failure patients with 25% ejection fraction.
- Yoga practices are useful in the management of diabetes and bronchial asthma.
Twenty male yoga instructors were studied and their maximal oxygen consumption was recorded. Subjects performed maximal exercise on a bicycle ergometer on a day other than the day when they practiced yoga.They pedaled at zero load for 5 min as warm up exercise. Then, they were given a brief rest.
The study shows that wherever tidal volume reduced, pulmonary ventilation increased. This helps to maintain the level of pulmonary ventilation as per the requirement of oxygen consumption for that particular posture. Pulmonary ventilation and carbon dioxide output increased proportionately with the increase in oxygen consumption in all the yoga exercises and in some yoga breathing maneuvers.
Energy expenditure during cycling (5.5 mph) is 3.8 kcal min–1 and walking on treadmill (2.0 mph) is 3.1 kcal min–1. While comparing these with yoga the average energy expenditure during the practice of full yoga exercises in this study shows 60.3 and 73.8% of that of cycling and walking, respectively.
The study concludes that although yogic practices are low intensity exercises within lactate threshold, physical performance improvement is possible owing to both better economy of breathing by BM and also by improvement in cardiovascular reserve. Other factors such as psycho-physiological and better relaxation may contribute to it.
CM NEWS – A traditional herbal formula has been proved in lab that it may slow the progression of chronic kidney failure.
The formular tested is called keishibukuryogan in Japanese traditional medicine or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (桂枝茯苓丸) in TCM.
In TCM, Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan has the functions of “activating blood flow” and “removing blood stasis”. It is commonly used by women with irregular menstruation or menstrual cramps.
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan was also proved effective to exert anti-inflammatory effects in ischemia-reperfusion injured rats.
The formula of Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan is as follows:
- Fu Ling (茯苓, Poria Cocos) 6g
- Gui Zhi (桂枝, Cinnamomum Ramulus) 6g
- Mu Dan Pi (牡丹皮, Paeonia Cortex) 6g
- Tao Ren (桃仁, Persica Semen) 6g
- Chi Shao (赤芍, Paeonia Rubra Radix) 6g
What is Fu Ling? Poria Cocos is a fungus in the Polyporaceae family. It is a wood-decay fungus but has a terrestrial growth habit. It is notable in the development of a large, long-lasting underground sclerotium that resembles a small coconut. This sclerotium (called “Tuckahoe”, or Indian Bread) was used by native Americans as a source of food in times of scarcity.
Fu Ling is collected between July and September. The poria with reddish inner side of the superficial layer is called red poria and the poria with white inner side of the superficial layer is called white poria. The poria produced in Yunnan Province is famous and therefore the drug is also called Yunnan poria Yunling). After collection, it is dried in shade, sliced, and used unprepared.
Property: Sweet and tasteless in flavour, neutral in property, acting on the heart, spleen and kidney channels.
Effects: Inducing diuresis, excreting dampness, invigorating the spleen, replenishing the middle-jiao, and tranquilizing the mind.
A group of Japanese researchers examined the effects of keishibukuryogan on the early stage of progressive renal failure in rats subjected to 5/6 nephrectomy.
Keishibukuryogan was given orally at a dose of 1% (w/w) and 3% (w/w) in chow. Administration of keishibukuryogan was started at 1 week after 5/6 nephrectomy and was continued for 4 weeks.
At the end of the experiment, Azan staining did not reveal any severe histological changes in the kidneys of the nephrectomized rats. On the other hand, significant increases in mRNA expressions of transforming growth factor-β1 and fibronectin related to tissue fibrosis were observed in nephrectomized rats, and they were significantly suppressed by 3% keishibukuryogan treatment.
Against gene expressions related to macrophage infiltration, 3% keishibukuryogan treatment significantly suppressed osteopontin mRNA levels, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA levels showed a tendency to decrease, but without statistical significance.
It was also observed that 3% keishibukuryogan attenuated serum urea nitrogen and urinary protein excretion levels. From these results, it was suggested that keishibukuryogan exerts beneficial effects that result in slowing the progression of chronic renal failure.
CM NEWS – Developing curving spine as you age? Try yoga. A recent study shows that yoga might be the first step to remedy this common condition in seniors.
The study was done by researchers of University of California at Los Angeles and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. At the onset, the researchers wanted to assess whether a specifically designed yoga intervention can reduce hyperkyphosis or kyphosis.
What is kyphosis? According to the Mayo Clinic, kyphosis is a forward rounding of your upper back. Some rounding is normal, but the term “kyphosis” usually refers to an exaggerated rounding, more than 40 to 45 degrees. This deformity is also called round back or hunchback.
With kyphosis, your spine may look normal or you may develop a hump. Kyphosis can occur as a result of developmental problems; degenerative diseases, such as arthritis of the spine; osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebrae; or trauma to the spine. It can affect children, adolescents and adults.
Mild cases of kyphosis may cause few problems. But severe cases can affect your lungs, nerves and other tissues and organs, causing pain and other problems. Treatment for kyphosis depends on the cause of the curvature and its effects.
Kyphosis symptoms may include:
- Slouching posture or hunchback
- Mild back pain
- Spinal stiffness or tenderness
In mild cases, kyphosis may produce no noticeable signs or symptoms.
The study involved a 6-month, two-group, randomized, controlled, single-masked trial in a community research unit.
168 women and men aged 60 and older with a kyphosis angle of 40° or greater participated in the trial. Major exclusions were serious medical comorbidity, use of assistive device, inability to hear or see adequately for participation, and inability to pass a physical safety screen.
The active treatment group attended hour-long yoga classes 3 days per week for 24 weeks. The control group attended a monthly luncheon and seminar and received mailings.
The results show that compared with control participants, participants randomized to yoga experienced a 4.4% improvement in flexicurve kyphosis angle and a 5% improvement in kyphosis index. However, yoga did not result in statistically significant improvement in Debrunner kyphometer angle, measured physical performance, or self-assessed health-related quality of life.
It’s concluded that the decrease in flexicurve kyphosis angle in the yoga treatment group shows that hyperkyphosis is remediable, a critical first step in the pathway to treating or preventing this condition.
The researchers note that larger, more-definitive studies of yoga or other interventions for hyperkyphosis should be considered. Targeting individuals with more-malleable spines and using longitudinally precise measures of kyphosis could strengthen the treatment effect.
CM NEWS – The results of a new analysis have provided good evidence to suggest that Tai Chi is beneficial for arthritis. Specifically, it was shown to decrease pain with trends towards improving overall physical health, level of tension and satisfaction with health status.
Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognized as an international health priority. Exercise therapy including such as strengthening, stretching and aerobic programs, have been shown to be effective for arthritic pain. Tai Chi, is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced in China to improve overall health and well-being. It is usually preformed in a group but is also practiced individually at one’s leisure, which differs from traditional exercise therapy approaches used in the clinic.
Recently, a new study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi in decreasing pain and disability and improving physical function and quality of life in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The study is published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research. Led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They analyzed seven eligible randomized controlled trials that used Tai Chi as the main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.
The authors state, “The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis.”
“It is of importance to note that the results reported in this systematic review are indicative of the effect of Tai Chi versus minimal intervention (usual health care or health education) or wait list control,” the authors note. Establishing the specific effects of Tai Chi would require a placebo-controlled trial, which has not yet been undertaken.
CM NEWS – The famous immunological effects of ginseng have been confirmed and defined by a recent study. Ginseng is believed to have beneficial effects against human diseases, and its active components, ginsenosides, may play critical roles in its diverse physiological actions.
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