Aim: The aim of the study is to find out the effect of pranayama in improving the values of pulmonary function tests, in school going children (of adolescent age group between 12 years to 15 years) having mild to moderate asthma and also not being on any long term medication for the same.
Method: After taking a written informed consent from the school teacher in charge, the parents and the children group from a government high school in Bengaluru, the screening of the children for asthma was done. Initial pulmonary function tests were done after inhaling a bronchodilator for the diagnosis of mild and moderate asthma. The diagnosed children were not put on any long term medication. They were educated about pranayama and were also taught the methodology of performing pranayama and other yoga asanas. They were made to perform pranayama every day for 20-30 minutes, for a period of 1 year (during June 2017 – June 2018) under the teacher’s guidance and during this period they were examined periodically(every 3 months) for the improvement in their pulmonary function tests.
Results: FEV% deteriorated in 16 children in the second visit and 20 children in the last visit. This could be explained by the disproportionate increase of FVC compared to FEV1.FEV% improved better than FVC in 40% (20) of the children while the rest 60% (29) children’s improvement in FVC was better than FEV%. In the final visit around 11 children had no change in the PEFR values, which was significantly high when other lung functions were considered.
Conclusion: FEV1 has increased from first visit to fourth visit, but at each visit the increase was not significant. This suggests the beneficial effect of pranayama in improving FEV1 when it is practised regularly for prolonged duration. Thus our prospective study confirms that Pranayama could be one of the better alternative therapies that should be considered in adolescent asthma.
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