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1.  Research on Traditional Medicine: What Has Been Done, the Difficulties, and Possible Solutions 
Traditional medicine (TM) is being used more frequently all over the world. However most often these are choices made by the patient. Integrating TM into mainstream health care would require research to understand the efficacy, safety, and mechanism of action of TM systems. This paper describes research done on TM and difficulties encountered in researching TM, especially when an attempt is made to conform to the model for conventional medicine. The research articles were PubMed searched and categorized as experimental, quasiexperimental, reviews, descriptive, historical, interviews, case histories, and abstract not available. The last part of the report provides suggestions to make research on TM more acceptable and useful, with the ultimate goal of integrating TM into mainstream healthcare with sufficient knowledge about the efficacy, safety, and mechanism of action of TM systems.
doi:10.1155/2014/495635
PMCID: PMC4074945  PMID: 25013445
2.  A comparative controlled trial comparing the effects of yoga and walking for overweight and obese adults 
Background
Walking and yoga have been independently evaluated for weight control; however, there are very few studies comparing the 2 with randomization.
Material/Methods
The present study compared the effects of 90 minutes/day for 15 days of supervised yoga or supervised walking on: (i) related biochemistry, (ii) anthropometric variables, (iii) body composition, (iv) postural stability, and (v) bilateral hand grip strength in overweight and obese persons. Sixty-eight participants, of whom 5 were overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and 63 were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2; group mean age ±S.D., 36.4±11.2 years; 35 females), were randomized as 2 groups – (i) a yoga group and (ii) a walking group – given the same diet.
Results
All differences were pre-post changes within each group. Both groups showed a significant (p<0.05; repeated measures ANOVA, post-hoc analyses) decrease in: BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, lean mass, body water, and total cholesterol. The yoga group increased serum leptin (p<0.01) and decreased LDL cholesterol (p<0.05). The walking group decreased serum adiponectin (p<0.05) and triglycerides (p<0.05).
Conclusions
Both yoga and walking improved anthropometric variables and serum lipid profile in overweight and obese persons. The possible implications are discussed.
doi:10.12659/MSM.889805
PMCID: PMC4051462  PMID: 24878827
Yoga; Walking; Obesity; Adipokines; Lipid Profile; Anthropometry
3.  Effect of yoga or physical exercise on physical, cognitive and emotional measures in children: a randomized controlled trial 
Background
Previous studies have separately reported the effects of physical exercise and yoga in children, showing physical, cognitive and emotional benefits.
Objectives
The present randomized controlled trial assessed the effects of yoga or physical exercise on physical fitness, cognitive performance, self-esteem, and teacher-rated behavior and performance, in school children.
Methods
98 school children between 8 to 13 years were randomized as yoga and physical exercise groups {n = 49 each; (yoga: 15 girls, group mean age 10.4 ± 1.2 years), (physical exercise: 23 girls, group mean age 10.5 ± 1.3 years)}. Both groups were blind assessed after allocation, using: (i) the Eurofit physical fitness test battery, (ii) Stroop color-word task for children, (iii) Battle’s self-esteem inventory and (iv) the teachers’ rating of the children’s obedience, academic performance, attention, punctuality, and behavior with friends and teachers. After assessments the yoga group practiced yoga (breathing techniques, postures, guided relaxation and chanting), 45 minutes each day, 5 days a week. During this time the physical exercise group had jogging-in-place, rapid repetitive movements and relay races or games. Both groups were assessed at the end of 3 months. Data were analyzed with RM ANOVA and post-hoc tests were Bonferroni adjusted.
Results
There was one significant difference between groups. This was in social self-esteem which was higher after physical exercise compared to yoga (p < 0.05). All the changes reported below are based on after-before comparisons, within each group. Both groups showed an increase in BMI, and number of sit-ups (p < 0.001). Balance worsened in the physical exercise group, while plate tapping improved in the yoga group (p < 0.001). In the Stroop task both groups showed improved color, word- and color-word naming (p < 0.01), while the physical exercise group showed higher interference scores. Total, general and parental self-esteem improved in the yoga group (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
Yoga and physical exercise are useful additions to the school routine, with physical exercise improving social self-esteem.
Trial registration
The study was registered in the Clinical Trials Registry of India (CTRI/2012/11/003112).
doi:10.1186/1753-2000-7-37
PMCID: PMC3826528  PMID: 24199742
Yoga; Physical exercise; Physical fitness; Cognitive performance; Self-esteem; School children
5.  Blood pressure and purdue pegboard scores in individuals with hypertension after alternate nostril breathing, breath awareness, and no intervention 
Background
Previously alternate nostril yoga breathing (anuloma-viloma pranayama) was shown to reduce the blood pressure (BP) in people with hypertension. An elevated BP has been associated with poor performance in certain tasks requiring attention and co-ordination. The Purdue pegboard task assesses manual dexterity and eye-hand co-ordination.
Material/Methods
In the present study there were ninety participants with essential hypertension. Their ages ranged from 20 to 59 years (group average age ±S.D., 49.7±9.5 years; sixty males). Participants were randomized as three groups, with thirty participants in each group. One group practiced alternate nostril yoga breathing for 10 minutes, the second group practiced breath awareness for the same duration and the third group was given a control intervention (i.e., reading a magazine with neutral content). Assessments were taken before and after the interventions for participants of the three groups. Assessments included the blood pressure and performance in the Purdue pegboard task. Data were analyzed with a repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc analyses were Bonferroni adjusted.
Results
Following alternate nostril breathing (ANYB) there was a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.001 and p<0.05), and an improvement in Purdue pegboard task scores for both hands (p<0.05), and for the right hand (p<.001). Breath awareness (the control session) also showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (p<0.05). The right hand scores improved in the group reading a magazine (p<0.05).
Conclusions
The results suggest that the immediate effect of ANYB is to reduce the BP while improving the performing in a task requiring attention, bimanual dexterity and visuo-motor co-ordination.
doi:10.12659/MSM.883743
PMCID: PMC3628802  PMID: 23334063
hypertension; alternate nostril yoga breathing; blood pressure; Purdue pegboard task; attention; visuo-motor co-ordination; bi-manual dexterity
6.  Managing Mental Health Disorders Resulting from Trauma through Yoga: A Review 
There are many and varied types of trauma. The extent to which trauma influences the mental health of an individual depends on the nature of trauma, as well as on the individual's coping capabilities. Often trauma is followed by depression, anxiety, and PTSD. As the pharmacological remedies for these conditions often have undesirable side-effects, nonpharmacological remedies are thought of as a possible add-on treatment. Yoga is one such mind-body intervention. This paper covers eleven studies indexed in PubMed, in which mental health disorders resulting from trauma were managed through yoga including meditation. The aim was to evaluate the use of yoga in managing trauma-related depression, anxiety, PTSD and physiological stress following exposure to natural calamities, war, interpersonal violence, and incarceration in a correctional facility. An attempt has also been made to explore possible mechanisms underlying benefits seen. As most of these studies were not done on persons exposed to trauma that had practiced yoga, this is a definite area for further research.
doi:10.1155/2012/401513
PMCID: PMC3388328  PMID: 22778930
7.  Finger dexterity and visual discrimination following two yoga breathing practices 
International Journal of Yoga  2012;5(1):37-41.
Background:
Practicing yoga has been shown to improve motor functions and attention. Though attention is required for fine motor and discrimination tasks, the effect of yoga breathing techniques on fine motor skills and visual discrimination has not been assessed.
Aim:
To study the effect of yoga breathing techniques on finger dexterity and visual discrimination.
Materials and Methods:
The present study consisted of one hundred and forty subjects who had enrolled for stress management. They were randomly divided into two groups, one group practiced high frequency yoga breathing while the other group practiced breath awareness. High frequency yoga breathing (kapalabhati, breath rate 1.0 Hz) and breath awareness are two yoga practices which improve attention. The immediate effect of high frequency yoga breathing and breath awareness (i) were assessed on the performance on the O′Connor finger dexterity task and (ii) (in) a shape and size discrimination task.
Results:
There was a significant improvement in the finger dexterity task by 19% after kapalabhati and 9% after breath awareness (P<0.001 in both cases, repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc analyses). There was a significant reduction (P<0.001) in error (41% after kapalabhati and 21% after breath awareness) as well as time taken to complete the shape and size discrimination test (15% after kapalabhati and 15% after breath awareness; P<0.001) was also observed.
Conclusion:
Both kapalabahati and breath awareness can improve fine motor skills and visual discrimination, with a greater magnitude of change after kapalabhati.
doi:10.4103/0973-6131.91710
PMCID: PMC3276931  PMID: 22346064
Finger dexterity; shape and size discrimination; yoga breathing
8.  Effect of Yoga and Ayurveda on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 
Indian Journal of Palliative Care  2011;17(2):169-170.
doi:10.4103/0973-1075.84544
PMCID: PMC3183612  PMID: 21976863
9.  Heart rate variability changes during high frequency yoga breathing and breath awareness 
Background
Pre and post comparison after one minute of high frequency yoga breathing (HFYB) suggested that the HFYB modifies the autonomic status by increasing sympathetic modulation, but its effect during the practice was not assessed.
Methods
Thirty-eight male volunteers with group average age ± S.D., 23.3 ± 4.4 years were each assessed on two separate days in two sessions, (i) HFYB and (ii) breath awareness. Each session was for 35 minutes, with 3 periods, i.e., pre (5 minutes), during HFYB or breath awareness (15 minutes) and post (5 minutes).
Results
There was a significant decrease in NN50, pNN50 and the mean RR interval during and after HFYB and after breath awareness, compared to the respective 'pre' values (p < 0.05) (repeated measures ANOVA followed by post-hoc analysis). The LF power increased and HF power decreased during and after breath awareness and LF/HF ratio increased after breath awareness (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
The results suggest that there was reduced parasympathetic modulation during and after HFYB and increased sympathetic modulation with reduced parasympathetic modulation during and after breath awareness.
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-5-4
PMCID: PMC3088536  PMID: 21486495
10.  Effect of one week of yoga on function and severity in rheumatoid arthritis 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:118.
Background
Previous studies have shown that yoga practice improved the hand grip strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Findings
Sixty-four participants with RA (group average age ± S.D., 46.5 ± 9.6 years; 47 females) were assessed at the beginning and end of a one week yoga program. The Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), hand grip strength, rheumatoid factor, and C-reactive protein levels were assessed on the first and last day and compared using a t-test for paired data. All participants showed reduced disability scores of the HAQ and rheumatoid factor levels, with an increase in bilateral hand grip strength in male participants alone.
Conclusions
This single group study indicated that a brief intensive yoga program was beneficial in RA, with decreased disability, better functionality and changes in the rheumatoid factor levels suggesting improvement.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-118
PMCID: PMC3083351  PMID: 21481278
11.  Post traumatic stress symptoms and heart rate variability in Bihar flood survivors following yoga: a randomized controlled study 
BMC Psychiatry  2010;10:18.
Background
An earlier study showed that a week of yoga practice was useful in stress management after a natural calamity. Due to heavy rain and a rift on the banks of the Kosi river, in the state of Bihar in north India, there were floods with loss of life and property. A week of yoga practice was given to the survivors a month after the event and the effect was assessed.
Methods
Twenty-two volunteers (group average age ± S.D, 31.5 ± 7.5 years; all of them were males) were randomly assigned to two groups, yoga and a non-yoga wait-list control group. The yoga group practiced yoga for an hour daily while the control group continued with their routine activities. Both groups' heart rate variability, breath rate, and four symptoms of emotional distress using visual analog scales, were assessed on the first and eighth day of the program.
Results
There was a significant decrease in sadness in the yoga group (p < 0.05, paired t-test, post data compared to pre) and an increase in anxiety in the control group (p < 0.05, paired t-test, post data compared to pre).
Conclusions
A week of yoga can reduce feelings of sadness and possibly prevent an increase in anxiety in flood survivors a month after the calamity.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trials Registry of India: CTRI/2009/091/000285
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-10-18
PMCID: PMC2836997  PMID: 20193089

Results 1-11 (11)