Yoga and med­i­ta­tion may keep your heart healthy

Irish Daily Mail - - News - Ir­ish Daily Mail Re­porter

YOGA and med­i­ta­tion could help to lower the risk of heart dis­ease. The prac­tices may help lower blood pres­sure and stress, both of which can put a strain on the heart, re­searchers have said.

Heart dis­ease is the number one killer in Ire­land, caus­ing 10,000 deaths a year – a third of over­all deaths.

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have shown that med­i­ta­tion boosts brain health. So the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion re­viewed re­search to ex­am­ine its im­pact on heart dis­ease.

Its find­ings, which were pub­lished in the as­so­ci­a­tion’s jour­nal, sug­gest that the prac­tice could be as­so­ci­ated with de­creased stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, as well as im­proved sleep and over­all well­be­ing. It also may help lower blood pres­sure.

How­ever, the study’s leader, Pro­fes­sor Glenn Levine, of the Bay­lor Col­lege of Medicine in Hous­ton, said that de­spite the health ben­e­fits, yoga was still ‘not a sub­sti­tute for tra­di­tional med­i­cal care’.

The key to keep­ing the heart in shape, he said, was still a healthy life­style.

Med­i­ta­tion dates back as far as 5000BC and is as­so­ci­ated with philoso­phies and re­li­gions, no­tably Bud­dhism.

How­ever, it is in­creas­ingly prac­tised as a sec­u­lar and ther­a­peu­tic ac­tiv­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, 8% of Amer­i­cans now do some sort of med­i­ta­tion, while an­other study found that 17% of pa­tients with car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease ex­pressed an in­ter­est in par­tic­i­pat­ing in a clin­i­cal trial of med­i­ta­tion.

Re­searchers also re­viewed pre­vi­ous stud­ies to ex­am­ine the im­pact that dif­fer­ent types of med­i­ta­tion had on heart dis­ease. Th­ese in­cluded in­sight med­i­ta­tion, lov­ing kind­ness (Metta), tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion and re­lax­ation re­sponse.

They found the prac­tice could be as­so­ci­ated with de­creased lev­els of stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and im­proved qual­ity of sleep and over­all well­be­ing.

It also may help lower blood pres­sure, al­though there is not enough ev­i­dence to de­ter­mine whether or how much it may do so in an in­di­vid­ual pa­tient.

How­ever, re­searchers say un­til more re­search is done, the main pre­ven­tion and treat­ment of heart dis­ease re­mains life­style ad­vice and med­i­cal treat­ment.

Th­ese in­clude tak­ing statins to re­duce choles­terol, blood pres­sure pills, quit­ting smok­ing and reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.