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Effect of Bhastrika pranayama on pulmonary functions of elderly subjects

Shrikrishna N Bamne.

Abstract
Background: In old age, the expansion of lungs is restricted as the elastic tissue in the lungs is being replaced by fibrous tissue and a number of alveoli break down leading to emphysema, and also respiratory muscles become weak. Regular practice of pranayama should produce a positive effect on the lungs by increasing the pulmonary capacity and thereby improving the lung functions.

Aims and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the pulmonary function in volunteers after 6 weeks training in Bhastrika pranayama.

Material and Methods: This study was carried out on 40 healthy male volunteers in the age group between 60 and 70 years. The pulmonary function tests (PFT) were recorded with the RMS-Helios 702 spirometer. The parameters of PFT taken into account were forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in one second, peak expiratory flow rate. The PFT were compared before starting Bhastrika pranayama and after completing 6 weeks regular practice of Bhastrika pranayama. The paired and unpaired t-test were used at appropriate places as a statistical test. The value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Result: A significant increase in pulmonary functions were observed after the 6 weeks practice of Bhastrika pranayama.

Conclusion: Regular practice of Bhastrika pranayama may tend to improve the strength in the respiratory musculature which leads to an improvement in the lung functions in them. Moreover, hence better the lung function in old age better the quality of life.

Key words: Bhastrika Pranayama;Pulmonary Functions;Forced Vital Capacity;Peak Expiratory Flow Rate



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