Should Yoga be included in a COPD rehab program?

Yoga may help patients who have COPD to breathe and exercise better. Should it be included in any basic COPD rehab program?

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term for various lung diseases that make it hard to breathe or cause patients to cough mucus. Some of the more common lung diseases are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is a major cause of COPD, but there can be other causes as well.

COPD can cause many problems beyond breathing. Since patients can breathe well, they often cannot complete event he most basic of tasks, such as walking anything longer than a very short distance, food preparation, and any type of shopping. It obviously creates a struggle for the patient to have any social access or exercise. Even more, COPD is associated with a high level of mortality.

COPD rehab to improve function and outcomes

Doctors recommend COPD rehab to help patients improve their ability to function day to day and have better outcomes. COPD rehab has been shown to be effective in helping patients live a longer, higher quality life.

Patients can access a COPD rehab program through a local short-term rehab facility, like Hudson View Rehab in Bergen County, New Jersey. The program consists of workshops and lectures by experts in their fields that teach the basics of proper nutrition, and they communicate specialized techniques for these patients to get the exercise they need to stay fit and ward off the bad effects of lung and respiratory diseases.

Yoga to help with COPD?

New research finds that practicing yoga may help patients who suffer from COPD. Testing the effects of yoga is a natural concept, since the practice is all about breathing methods and body control. It’s also meant to reduce physical and emotional stress, which can have a positive impact on people who have COPD.

Yoga practitioners teach followers to use pranayamas, or breathing technique, that control breathing and boost pulmonary function.

The report, published in clinical Rehabilitation, analyzed several studies that examined the effects of yoga on COPD. It compiled the results of 11 randomized studies following 586 people who COPD. It considered different type of yoga and how each affected the study participants in 4 ways: dyspnea, quality of life, exercise capability, and pulmonary function.

The results showed that yoga that focused on breathing, as opposed to other complex yoga, was positively correlated with patients’ quality of life, exercise capability, and pulmonary function. It was most helpful for exercise capability and pulmonary function.

They also studied the safety of the yoga methods through reported incidents, and found infrequent reports of hazards, but recommended that the safety of yoga for COPD patients needs to be further researched.

Yoga can be an effective agent in helping COPD patients with many parts of their disease, from the physical aspects showed in the study to the emotional aspects of stress reduction and the social benefits of being able to get out and be part of a group. It’s an excellent addition to a COPD rehab program.



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