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eISSN: 1643-3750

Blood pressure and purdue pegboard scores in individuals with hypertension after alternate nostril breathing, breath awareness, and no intervention

Shirley Telles, Arti Yadav, Nilima Kumar, Sachin Sharma, Naveen K. Visweshwaraiah, Acharya Balkrishna

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:61-66

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883743

Published: 2013-01-21


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.

Keywords: Middle Aged, Male, Nasal Cavity - physiology, Hypertension - physiopathology, Humans, Female, Breathing Exercises, Blood Pressure - physiology, Analysis of Variance, Adult, Respiration, Task Performance and Analysis, young adult



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