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Physiological and psychological effects of Hatha-Yoga exercise in healthy women new
      #14147 - 07/15/03 09:13 PM
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Int J Psychosom. 1994;41(1-4):46-52.

Physiological and psychological effects of Hatha-Yoga exercise in healthy women.

Schell FJ, Allolio B, Schonecke OW.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Wurzburg, Germany.

Hatha-Yoga has become increasingly popular in western countries as a method for coping with stress. However, little is known about the physiological and psychological effects of yoga practice. We measured heart rate, blood pressure, the hormones cortisol, prolactin and growth hormone and certain psychological parameters in a yoga practicing group and a control group of young female volunteers reading in a comfortable position during the experimental period. There were no substantial differences between the groups concerning endocrine parameters and blood pressure. The course of heart rate was significantly different, the yoga group had a decrease during the yoga practice. Significant differences between both groups were found in psychological parameters. In the personality inventory the yoga group showed markedly higher scores in life satisfaction and lower scores in excitability, aggressiveness, openness, emotionality and somatic complaints. Significant differences could also be observed concerning coping with stress and the mood at the end of the experiment. The yoga group had significant higher scores in high spirits and extravertedness.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Controlled Clinical Trial

PMID: 7843867 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Chronic pain patients and the practice of mindfulness meditation new
      #14150 - 07/15/03 10:57 PM
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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1982 Apr;4(1):33-47.

An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: theoretical considerations and preliminary results.

Kabat-Zinn J.

The practice of mindfulness meditation was used in a 10-week Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program to train chronic pain patients in self-regulation. The meditation facilitates an attentional stance towards proprioception known as detached observation. This appears to cause an "uncoupling " of the sensory dimension of the pain experience from the affective/evaluative alarm reaction and reduce the experience of suffering via cognitive reappraisal. Data are presented on 51 chronic pain patients who had not improved with traditional medical care. The dominant pain categories were low back, neck and shoulder, and headache. Facial pain, angina pectoris, noncoronary chest pain, and GI pain were also represented. At 10 weeks, 65% of the patients showed a reduction of greater than or equal to 33% in the mean total Pain Rating Index (Melzack) and 50% showed a reduction of greater than or equal to 50%. Similar decreases were recorded on other pain indices and in the number of medical symptoms reported. Large and significant reductions in mood disturbance and psychiatric symptomatology accompanied these changes and were relatively stable on follow-up. These improvements were independent of the pain category. We conclude that this form of meditation can be used as the basis for an effective behavioral program in self-regulation for chronic pain patients. Key features of the program structure, and the limitations of the present uncontrolled study are discussed.

PMID: 7042457 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome new
      #14154 - 07/15/03 11:20 PM
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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Oct;13(10):1135-6.

Probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome: a light in the darkness?

Thompson WG.

Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. wgthompson@home.com

Probiotics have been used with apparent success for several gut disorders, so it is not surprising they have been tried in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the pathogenesis of this disease is unknown, and opinions about how probiotics might work are speculative. Nevertheless, two small trials suggest they might benefit patients with IBS, particularly those suffering from pain and bloating. This possibility deserves further study. It is important though, that future trials employ criteria-identified subjects, be sufficiently powered and strictly double blind, and select a suitable outcome measure. Until state-of-the-art trials of probiotics are available, their use should remain in the experimental arena.

Publication Types:
Comment
Editorial

PMID: 11711765 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Bibliography of Yoga Studies and Health Conditions new
      #14545 - 07/21/03 03:41 PM
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This is the International Association of Yoga Therapists bibliography page, with links organized by various health conditions (from eating disorders and pain management to depression and menstruation, and more). The bibliographies contain citations for books, chapters or sections in books, magazine and journal articles, online resources, audiotapes/CDs, and videotapes/DVDs related to each subject. Where applicable, an "Ongoing Research" section is included that describes in-progress studies and provides contact information for each researcher. Some bibliographies also provide contact information for practitioners specializing in the subject area.

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Edited by lctuscher (09/26/14 03:17 PM)

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Acupuncture In Unexplained Urinary Retention And Sluggish Bowel new
      #15250 - 07/28/03 03:09 PM
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Acupuncture In Unexplained Urinary Retention And Sluggish Bowel
Muzaffar K. Awan, MD

ABSTRACT

Background
Auricular therapy is used in many conditions to provide relief from symptoms and to increase patient function.

Objective
To describe the use of auricular acupuncture in a patient with urinary retention and sluggish bowel of unknown etiology.

Design, Setting, and Patient
A 39-year-old woman with urinary retention of 3 weeks duration requested acupuncture to relieve her bladder retention and restore voiding.

Intervention
The patient's only treatment consisted of a 40-minute auricular acupuncture session. Left ear points selected were: thoracic, lumbar, and sacral vertebrae, urethra, urinary bladder, kidney, smooth muscle, cerebral cortex, and 3 parts of the trunk. Right ear points selected were: 2nd urethra, pelvic plexus, ureter, inferior mesenteric sympathetic ganglion, Shenmen, liver, and brain.

Main Outcome Measure
Restoration of bladder and bowel function, including elimination of the need for self-catheterization.

Results
Within an hour after treatment, the patient reported elimination of urinary retention and restoration of normal voiding function. By the 3rd day after treatment, bowel and bladder functions were at their premorbid level. This patient was followed up for 12 weeks without any relapse.

Conclusion
Auricular acupuncture was effective in the treatment of this patient with unexplained urinary retention and sluggish bowel function.

(Broken Link Removed)


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Edited by lctuscher (09/26/14 03:16 PM)

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Acupuncture for the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome new
      #17062 - 08/12/03 12:29 PM
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Acupuncture for the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

From Alternative Medicine Alert ' August 2003

By David L. Diehl, MD, FACP
Acupuncture is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality that has undergone progressive acceptance by both patients and Western medical practitioners. Its major clinical application in the United States is for musculoskeletal conditions such as low-back pain, myofascial pain, headache, sciatica, and other similar conditions. Positive effects of acupuncture for digestive disorders have been known in Chinese medicine for centuries, but adoption of acupuncture for these conditions in Western medicine has lagged behind musculoskeletal indications. This may be due in part to a lack of convincing randomized data showing the efficacy of acupuncture for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.

The functional digestive disorders, of which irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common, are a group of disorders of surprisingly high prevalence, whose adequate treatment continues to elude modern medicine. The functional disorders present a rich potential area of application for any CAM therapy. In patients attending GI clinics, those with IBS are most likely to see CAM practitioners.(1)

Mechanism of Action
There is a plethora of information regarding the physiological basis of acupuncture effects on the digestive system. Extensive research using animal models, as well as data from human subjects, has shed light on how acupoint stimulation leads to changes in gastric acid secretion, GI motility, and hormone and neuropeptide metabolism. Regional or systemic autonomic nervous system changes also may contribute to these effects. A recent review examined the physiologic effects of acupuncture on the digestive tract.(2)

IBS is a multifactorial condition; contributions from diet, psychosocial factors, and underlying physiology all come together to shape an individual's experience of pain or discomfort. Furthermore, any clinician with experience caring for patients with IBS knows that "there is IBS and there is IBS." The heterogeneity of the diagnosis of IBS conspires to make clinical studies of this condition hard to do, and hard to interpret.

Common Usage
As relates to the GI tract, acupuncture is best known and most extensively studied for its effects on nausea. In a number of carefully designed and conducted trials, acupuncture has been shown to be useful for anti-emesis. Beyond the treatment of nausea, there is a paucity of controlled trials of acupuncture for any GI condition, although there is a long and distinguished history of acupuncture for GI symptoms in the Chinese medical literature dating back more than 2,000 years.

Special Considerations Concerning Acupuncture Research
Acupuncture research, in comparison to pharmaceutical research, necessitates some special considerations. First, what is a proper control group to use? "Sham needling" (an invasive but "non-therapeutic" procedure such as shallow needling at non-acupuncture points) often is held to be the best, but also may dilute some of the effect of acupuncture due to non-specific effects of the minimal needling. "Placebo needling" involves non-penetrating simulation of needle placement (for example, taping a needle to the skin while the patient looks away). This obviously would require a subject na´ve to previous acupuncture treatment. Blinding of the subjects and the investigators also is of great importance. Double blinding requires the use of a blinded evaluator who is not aware of allocation of the patient to the real or sham/placebo group.

There is much debate about which approach to point selection should be used for acupuncture studies as well. Some studies employ a "one-size-fits-all" approach, with all treated patients randomized to the active arm getting the same assortment of needles (which may range from one to 20 needles) applied to the same points. Other investigators insist that the treatment must be tailored to the individual patient and the presentation at that particular visit. Thus, the treatment may change from visit to visit. Some practitioners favor treatments three times a week (and occasionally more), while others may try to require visits no more frequently than once a week. Different schools of acupuncture theory and practice can alter specific point selection markedly, and this can lead to disagreement over the selection of the most efficacious treatment.

Finally, it must be understood that acupuncture is only a single part of an integrated health care treatment system that traditionally includes dietary manipulation, herbal medicine, massage (Tui Na), exercise modalities (such as Tai Qi), and breathing/meditation practice (Qi Gong). Evaluating acupuncture in isolation may lead to results that would be different than when several of these modalities are combined.

Clinical Studies
There have been very few prospective randomized trials of acupuncture for IBS. All the studies that have been conducted have methodological failings, ranging from moderate to severe.

Lowe et al published (in abstract form) the results of a prospective randomized trial of real vs. sham acupuncture in a sample of 50 patients with IBS.(3) Treatments were given at nine points (specific acupoints were not specified in the abstract) twice weekly for four weeks. There was follow-up at four weeks and also at three months. The primary outcome was individual patient-determined treatment success rate; secondary outcome measures included McGill Pain Score and the IBS-36 (a validated IBS-specific quality-of-life tool).

There was no significant difference between patients' perceptions of improvement (using 0-100% scale) in the two groups. Interestingly, both real and sham groups did show marked improvement compared to baseline in the McGill Pain Score as well as in the quality-of-life measurement. The authors concluded that acupuncture has no method-specific therapeutic benefit, but that participation in a trial can positively influence these measures.

Because this study was published only in abstract form, it is hard to assess certain specifics about methodology such as blinding. In addition, the study appears to be underpowered to detect an effect of real acupuncture.

Fireman et al performed a double-blind controlled study in a group of 25 patients.(4) Patients received two 30-minute sessions of real or control acupuncture, and then three weeks later were crossed over to receive the other treatment. The acupuncture treatment group was needled only at a single point, Large Intestine-4 (Li-4). Visual analog scales (VAS) were used to quantify response to either real or placebo needling. The authors found significant improvement in symptoms of alternating diarrhea and constipation, and overall feeling of well-being after the first needling session, but the change was not significant after the second session. There was no short- or long-term follow-up in this study.

This study contains a number of methodologic flaws and does not employ a sound research protocol for examining the effect of acupuncture on patients with IBS. First, only one point was used, and for only two sessions. It also is not clear whether the VAS was administered either immediately after the needling or at a later time. Despite the title of this study, it is not a reasonable evaluation of acupuncture treatment for IBS.

Chan et al performed a pilot study in which seven patients with IBS were offered a four-week course of acupuncture.(5) The patients filled out IBS symptom diaries on a daily basis for 28 days. The study used the same points on all patients. In all, eight acupoints were used, all stimulated bilaterally (for a total of 16 needles), and the needles were retained for only 3-5 seconds each. The authors found improvement in general sense of well-being and bloating, but no change in abdominal discomfort and bowel frequency. The obvious drawbacks to this study are small sample size, the absence of a control group and blinding, short follow-up, and the rather unusual needling technique involving "cookbook" selection of points and extremely short needle retention times.

In a description of a non-randomized clinical experience with IBS patients refractory to usual western therapy, Diehl et al offered acupuncture to a group of patients with functional dyspepsia (n = 14) and IBS (n = 10).(6) Initially, acupuncture was given weekly, and the interval between treatments was lengthened if possible. Outcomes were determined using patient and physician assessment of improvement and a quality-of-life survey. Length of follow-up was 2-14 months. In the 10-patient IBS group, three had a good response (almost complete or complete resolution of symptoms), six patients had a partial response (some improvement in symptoms or fewer recurrences of symptoms), while one patient had no response. The majority of patients experienced improvement in their symptoms, but ongoing therapy appeared to be necessary (at intervals of approximately 2-3 weeks) to maintain clinical improvement.

Adverse Effects
Acupuncture is a remarkably safe medical procedure. A long list of potential complications has been noted,(7) with transmission of viral infection and pneumothorax being among the most severe. Fainting, or so-called needle-shock, is perhaps the most common adverse effect, and can be seen in up to 2% of subjects. In two large recent studies of the safety of acupuncture, a total of 66,000 treatments by physicians or physiotherapists(8) or traditional acupuncturists(9) were evaluated prospectively. No fatalities were noted; significant adverse effects were seen in approximately 0.1% of patients in both studies. These results indicate that acupuncture is a very safe form of therapy.

Contraindications and Precautions
In some situations, IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. Patients with atypical presentations, shorter duration of symptoms, or alarm symptoms of weight loss, rectal bleeding, or abnormal blood tests or GI radiology should be fully evaluated before the diagnosis of IBS can be made with certainty. In this way, a more serious underlying process will not be missed while CAM therapy is pursued.

Conclusion
At present, there are insufficient data to demonstrate that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of IBS, and the few studies that are available for review have significant methodological shortcomings.

Recommendation
While we await funding for and completion of better-designed studies, there is little risk associated with acupuncture treatment for IBS, and individual patients may derive a benefit from this intervention.

Dr. Diehl is Associate Clinical Professor, New York University School of Medicine, and Director of Gastro- intestinal Endoscopy, Bellevue Hospital Center, in New York, NY.

References
1. Smart HL, et al. Alternative medicine consultations and remedies in patients with the irritable bowel syndrome. Gut 1986;27:826-828.

2. Diehl DL. Acupuncture for gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders. J Altern Complement Med 1999;5: 27-45.

3. Lowe C, et al. A placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of acupuncture in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (abstract #3168). Gastroenterology 2000;118: A617.

4. Fireman Z, et al. Acupuncture treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. A double-blind controlled study. Digestion 2001;64:100-103.

5. Chan J, et al. The role of acupuncture in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A pilot study. Hepatogastroenterology 1997,44:1328-1330.

6. Diehl DL, et al. Acupuncture treatment for refractory function bowel diseases (abstract). Gastroenterology 1994;106:A488.

7. Lao L, et al. Is acupuncture safe? A systematic review of case reports. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9:72-83.

8. White A, et al. Adverse events following acupuncture: Prospective survey of 32,000 consultations with doctors and physiotherapists. BMJ 2001;323:485-486.

9. MacPherson H, et al. The York acupuncture safety study: Prospective survey of 34,000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists. BMJ 2001;323:486-487.




Content (c) 2003 Thomson American Health Consultants, Inc.
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Former UCLA medical school professor recommends yoga for IBS new
      #56180 - 03/30/04 02:14 PM
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Healthy twist - Former UCLA medical school professor recommends yoga for IBS

By Mariko Thompson

Even doctors need medical help once in a while, and that's how Dr. Richard Usatine discovered yoga. The former UCLA medical school professor suffered a back injury in a car accident. After a year of failed attempts to get rid of the pain, Usatine was willing to try anything.

He went to see a friend and colleague who specialized in physical medicine. The prescription came as a surprise. Try yoga, the friend said.

Yoga worked so well that Usatine now recommends the ancient practice to patients who complain about stress-related conditions. He also researched yoga and its potential benefits for 20 health conditions in a book called "Yoga Rx.' The book, which recommends yoga for a range of problems from asthma to back pain to irritable bowel syndrome, was published last year with yoga therapist Larry Payne.

"I'm a believer,' says Usatine, now a professor of family and community medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. "I'm in favor of more studies on yoga, but I don't need them to prescribe it. What's most important is that yoga is exercise and relaxation therapy.'

Usatine is among the growing ranks of medical doctors intrigued by yoga and its combination of deep breathing, stretching and strength-building. In the early 1990s, best-selling author Dr. Dean Ornish included yoga as part of his nutrition and exercise recommendations for heart health. Today it's not unusual for doctors in pain management, heart health and other specialties to suggest yoga and for hospitals to offer classes to their patients.

This openness to yoga as therapy in part reflects an acceptance of the mind-body connection, doctors say. Only a few randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research, have been conducted on yoga. But doctors who are yoga enthusiasts say it's easy to extrapolate from studies that have documented the ill effects of chronic stress on the immune system and the benefits of exercise and relaxation.

"There is good data showing stress reduction has health benefits,' says Julienne Bower, a UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center researcher. "That makes yoga more palatable to the medical system.'

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has been a proponent of therapeutic yoga for 10 years. The center's research into heart disease prevention found yoga improved blood pressure and blood sugar control. Those findings, along with Ornish's research, prompted the hospital to launch a yoga class for cardiac rehabilitation patients, says Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center. The gentle one-hour class was designed for heart patients by instructor Nirmala Heriza.

"Most of them, when they come in, are new to yoga, and a lot of them are skeptical,' Heriza says. "They quickly find there's nothing unusual or strange. It's very easy to do. It's not strenuous.'

No formal study has been done at Cedars-Sinai on whether the yoga class prevents a second heart attack, Merz says. But participants who attend the hospital's program twice a week believe yoga keeps them healthy. Gary Bart says the class taught him how to relax. The 57-year- old film producer was diagnosed with an enlarged heart three years ago. His doctors told him to avoid stress and learn how to better cope with tension.

"Yoga brings peace and calm to my life,' Bart says. "My friends call me 'Mr. Mellow.' I used to be Type-A personality from New York.'

Stress reduction is just one element of yoga that's under the microscope. When yoga instructors talk about the effect on the body, they speak in terms of the body's chakras, or energy centers. As a medical researcher, Bower doesn't speak the lingo, but she does want to know about yoga's effect on energy.

An assistant professor at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Bower has been investigating the causes of fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Thirty-seven percent report persistent fatigue after treatments have finished. Based on anecdotal reports, Bower decided to conduct a pilot study on yoga and cancer fatigue.

She is now recruiting breast cancer survivors who will take yoga twice a week for three months. The women will be assessed for energy and mood. Researchers also will take blood samples to look for any changes in biological immune measures that correlate with fatigue.

"We'd like to know if it works, but also how it works,' Bower says.

Another UCLA pilot study recently examined the effects of yoga on posture. Dr. Gail Greendale, professor of medicine and geriatrics, had a yoga class designed for elderly women with hyperkyphosis, a curvature of the spine also known as dowager's hump. The rounding is thought to be caused by osteoporosis or as the result of aging and lack of physical activity.

"It's very common,' Greendale said. "We did not believe it was fait accompli, that it would be possible to straighten people out.'

The movements focused on posture and alignment. Using a rigorous method of measuring height, the researchers found that the women stood taller and straighter by the end of the study.

Yoga had two other benefits as well. The participants showed increased leg strength and better balance, both important factors in reducing falls in the elderly, said Greendale, who hopes to conduct a larger study later this year.

No matter what the outcome of the scientific inquiries, the yoga faithful will show up to their classes, the same as before. Still, Brenda Strong, co-owner of Yoga Villa in North Hollywood, feels yoga can only benefit from the surging interest by doctors and researchers. Strong's studio offers specialized yoga classes, one designed to promote female fertility, another for people recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic conditions.

"In this day and age of technology, it's important that this esoteric teaching have a foundation in science,' Strong says. "There's this beautiful bridging going on right now between Western medicine and Eastern knowledge.'

Even if more people turn to yoga to ease their ailments, pharmaceutical companies have little to fear. All of the studies in the world won't necessarily get sedentary Americans off the couch, Greendale says.

Even among the patients who are willing to try yoga, not all will develop a lasting interest or feel that they derive any benefit. And that's OK, Usatine says. They haven't lost anything by trying.

"We're not calling yoga a cure-all,' Usatine says. "At the same time, there's no real harm in yoga, and that's what's great."

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Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

Edited by lctuscher (09/26/14 03:14 PM)

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Yoga for IBS Diarrhea new
      #65374 - 04/27/04 04:36 PM
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Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2004 Mar;29(1):19-33.

Yogic versus conventional treatment in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized control study.

Taneja I, Deepak KK, Poojary G, Acharya IN, Pandey RM, Sharma MP.

Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.

This study was conducted to evaluate the comparative effect of yogic and conventional treatment in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in a randomized control design. The patients were 22 males, aged 20-50 years, with confirmed diagnosis of diarrhea-predominant IBS. The conventional group (n = 12, 1 dropout) was given symptomatic treatment with loperamide 2-6 mg/day for 2 months, and the yogic intervention group (n = 9) consisted of a set of 12 asanas (yogic poses, i.e., Vajrasana, Shashankasana, Ushtrasana, Marjariasana, Padhastasana, Dhanurasana, Trikonasana in two variations, Pawanmuktasana, and Paschimottanasana) along with Surya Nadi pranayama (right-nostril breathing) two times a day for 2 months. All participants were tested at three regular intervals, at the start of study--0 month, 1 month, and 2 months of receiving the intervention--and were investigated for bowel symptoms, autonomic symptoms, autonomic reactivity (battery of five standard tests), surface electrogastrography, anxiety profile by Spielberger's Self Evaluation Questionnaire, which evaluated trait and state anxiety. Two months of both conventional and yogic intervention showed a significant decrease of bowel symptoms and state anxiety. This was accompanied by an increase in electrophysiologically recorded gastric activity in the conventional intervention group and enhanced parasympathetic reactivity, as measured by heart rate parameters, in yogic intervention group. The study indicates a beneficial effect of yogic intervention over conventional treatment in diarrhea-predominant IBS.

PMID: 15077462

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15077462


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Yoga and Irritable Bowel Syndrome new
      #108493 - 09/26/04 03:44 PM
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By Kathleen Nelson

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, yoga can help alleviate symptoms and keep stress in check. At one time or another, everyone has eaten something that "doesn't quite sit right." But for the more than 30 million adults in the United States who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-two-thirds of whom are women-that awful feeling is an ongoing struggle.

IBS symptoms can include abdominal discomfort from diarrhea, constipation, and bloating or varying degrees of gas. Sometimes a particular food or an allergy triggers an episode, but generally no one factor can be blamed. IBS has often been dismissed as psychosomatic, but recently it has been redefined as "a disorder with variable symptoms having possible neurological, immunological, or psycho-emotional roots," says Gary Kraftsow, founder of American Viniyoga Institute and author of Yoga for Transformation (Penguin USA, 2002).

Without any known organic cause or cure for IBS, treatment primarily focuses on symptom relief. Medications like antidiarrheals, antispasmodics, or tricyclic antidepressants can be helpful when symptoms are overwhelming. Yet research has suggested that lifestyle modifications can also be an effective method of easing the pain. A Mayo Clinic study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (February, 1998) showed that exercise, diet, and stress management reduced IBS symptoms. "The Mayo study shows people do better if they use active and positive coping strategies for pain," says Bruce Naliboff, Ph.D., a functional disorders and pain specialist at the UCLA Center for Integrative Medicine and West Los Angeles VA Health Care Center.

This is why many experts recommend regular stress reduction and exercise like yoga as a more effective way to prevent recurrences over the long run. "With IBS the goal is to reduce symptoms and restore efficient functioning to the system," says Kraftsow. "And certain yoga postures may be restorative no matter where on the spectrum your symptoms lie."

Abdominal breathing in particular has proven helpful in IBS sufferers, says Naliboff, and deep inhalations and exhalations may benefit those who breathe shallowly when stressed or swallow air while eating or talking, trapping air in the stomach.

IBS sufferers often battle bowel habits that are painful and unpredictable. During a flare-up, Kraftsow recommends concentrating on postures that provide a soothing effect. He suggests forward bends and simple abdominal twists like Jathara Parivrtti (a revolved twist) and Apanasana (a knee-to-chest pose), which may help soothe a hyperactive bowel or stimulate a sluggish one.

For constipation, you can stimulate digestion by working the abdomen more strongly in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) or PParivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose); just move into the postures with the belly held in after releasing an exhalation.

But yoga is just one component to fighting IBS. When symptoms recur, experts have found that IBS responds best to a care plan that incorporates anxiety relief, exercise, and a diet that eliminates aggravating foods and includes nutritional or herbal supplements, or as Kraftsow says, "treatment that respects the whole person."

http://www.yogajournal.com/health/781_1.cfm

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Exercise could ease IBS, diarrhea and constipation new
      #221839 - 10/28/05 12:08 PM
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Exercise, eating right could ease IBS, diarrhea and constipation

Oct 4, 2005, 00:32

Physical activity may help reduce gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in people who are obese. In a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers found that a high body mass index (BMI) and lack of physical activity were associated with an increase in GI symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Obesity is a chronic disease that has become a major health problem in the United States and around the world. In fact, many patients who are seen by gastroenterologists are overweight or obese. Over the last 20 years, obesity has emerged as the most important nutrition problem in the United States.

Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that obese people who incorporated some form of physical activity into their routine suffered less from GI symptoms than others who were inactive. High BMI was associated with an increase in symptoms of IBS, abdominal pain and diarrhea and binge eating was associated with an increase in abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. Of those participating in the study, more than 13 percent had IBS and nearly 6 percent were binge eaters. On average, participants in this study were classified as obese, with an average BMI of 33.

"It is well-documented that maintaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity can benefit GI health," said Rona L. Levy, PhD, lead study author and professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Our study is the first to show the benefit of maintaining these healthy habits and staving off the occurrence of GI symptoms in obese people. These findings have future implications for the treatment of both obesity and various GI disorders and symptoms that are more prevalent in this population."

Data collected from 1,801 men and women enrolled in a 24-month randomized trial evaluating telephone- and mail-based interventions for weight loss was used in this study. Participants were members of a Managed Care Organization and were randomized to one of three groups: a mail-based weight intervention using prepared lessons that gave nutrition and physical activity tips; a telephone-based weight intervention with a trained counselor that also used prepared lessons; or a usual care group who did not receive specific weight loss instructions, but were allowed access to telephone and clinic-based weight loss counseling at modest cost. Study participation was based on eligibility factors, such as age, gender, smoking status, amount of physical activity, BMI and binge eating status.

The average body weight of Americans has increased by approximately 10 percent during the last 20 years, with more than half the adult population being overweight and nearly one in every three adults diagnosed as obese. Adopting a diet rich with fruits and vegetables and increasing physical activity are two simple ways to control weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.

"Potential reduction of GI symptoms is yet another reason for obese people to consider engaging in physical activity," said Levy. "It could mean the difference between leading a normal life or leading one filled with constant discomfort."


References
1. American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

http://www.rxpgnews.com/article_2547.shtml

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Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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