Practice Yoga to Improve Atrial Fibrillation
Yoga postures and breathing may significantly reduce episodes of atrial fibrillation, suggests a new study—good news for the one in 11 Americans that suffer from its anxiety-producing palpitations, racing pulses, dizziness and shortness of breath. In the study, which was presented to the European Society of Cardiology, 538 patients underwent 12 weeks without yoga and then 16 weeks of attending 30-minute yoga classes every other day. During the yoga period, their fibrillation episodes were halved, dropping on average to eight as compared to 15 in the non-yoga period. Average blood pressure was 11/6 millimeters of mercury lower after yoga training. The patients also reported improved moods and energy. “Our study suggests that yoga has wide-ranging physical and mental health benefits for patients with atrial fibrillation, and could be added on top of usual therapies,” says study author Naresh Sen, M.D., of Sunil Memorial Superspecialty Hospital, in Jaipur, India.