Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Sleep Apnea: Standardized Protocols and Their Efficacy

Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Sleep Apnea: Standardized Protocols and Their Efficacy

December 5, 2023

The study “Application of Standardized Yoga Protocols as the Basis of Physiotherapy Recommendation in Treatment of Sleep Apneas” by Vivek Kumar, Vibhor Malhotra, and Satish Kumar explores the use of yoga as an additional treatment for sleep apnea, comparing it with standard physiotherapy methods.

Methodology and Participant Selection

The research involved patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. These individuals practiced a specific set of yoga exercises, including various asanas and pranayamas, designed to target the oropharyngeal and nasal structures affected in OSA.

Key Findings and Results

The study found notable improvements in sleep apnea and snoring symptoms among participants. Yoga exercises like Bhramari Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama, Kapalbhati, and other asanas were effective in improving oropharyngeal muscle tone, reducing snoring, and enhancing sleep quality.

Comparison with Physiotherapy

Yoga was compared to traditional physiotherapy exercises for OSA management. The study observed that yoga’s comprehensive approach addresses not just the oropharyngeal muscles but also factors like obesity, inactive lifestyle, and anxiety, which are often seen in sleep apnea patients.

Standardization and Future Research

The study emphasizes the importance of standardized yoga protocols in treating sleep apnea and suggests more research to identify the most effective yoga practices for this purpose.

Conclusions and Clinical Implications

Vivek Kumar and his team’s study presents yoga as a practical, non-invasive, and holistic treatment option for sleep apnea and snoring. The research highlights yoga’s potential in managing both the physical symptoms of sleep apnea and improving the overall health and well-being of patients.

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