(a) The sort studies (15 days to 1 month) without control, with self and matched groups as controls in Table 2.1 to 2.3 show clearly that there is significant beneficial effect as measured by the clinical parameters. Table 2.4 indicate the improvement in the psychological tests; they collaborate with the clinical parametric changes and subjective benefits of well being experienced by the patients. These results go to establish the efficacy of the integrated approach of yoga therapy in dealing with patients suffering from bronchial asthma and nasal allergy during the short term, (R 12b to e)
(b) Results have also been obtained recently using a standard Vitallogroph to include pulmonary functions as parameters in our short term studies. The results agree with the trend shown in PER and other parameters.
(c) The use of CHAIR BREATHING technique (8 steps) (12) in dealing with airway obstructive episodes has started giving new ray of hope to the asthmatics. (R 12a).
(d) Long term results presented in Table 3.1 and with matched control group Table 3.2 clearly collaborate the results obtained by the short term studies. The significant improvements in majority of the parameters seen in these Tables go a long way to establish the efficacy of yoga therapy in the rehabilitation of bronchial asthmatic even on a long term basis. (R 12b).
The possible ways in which yoga may help these persons suffering from nasal allergy and bronchial asthma are as follows
Deep relaxation and calming down of the mind lead to beneficial changes in physiological process as seen by slowing of pulse and respiratory rites, and reduced oxygen consumption (observed by Transcendental Meditation group). The deep rest and calmness experienced by them helps them in solving their psychological conflicts, suppressions and hypersensitivity's which are recognized as triggering factors for bronchospasm. Governance of the mental processes through the practice of calmness and relaxation brings the clarity of thinking and thus provides an opportunity for them to solve their own psychological problems.
The calming down of the mind also helps in getting an insights into their psychological conflicts or hypersensitivities. As is the famous saying "Awareness is half the solution to the problem" they learn to work within themselves to reach a state of internal poise. The yoga philosophy taught to these patients in the lecture sessions goes a long way in setting right their psychological notions.
The deep internal awareness developed during the yoga practices may have an influence on the involuntary nervous system. There are studies in which yogis have demonstrated slowing of heart to very low rates, Increase in galvanic skin resistance, etc., all or which point to a distinct possibility of developing control over the involuntary nervous system through yoga. In asthmatics, this internal awareness seems to help them to relax their bronchial muscles. Practice of deep relaxation of the voluntary muscles Gradually trains the involuntary smooth muscles to relax as well. This point has been observed during acute episodes treated through chair breathing exercise in our training programmes. The continuous suggestion of relaxed slow comfortable breathing removes the voluntary muscle effort, abates the panic reaction and in about 20 minutes the bronchospasm also disappears in mild to moderate attacks. (R 12a)
(3) Stamina Building
The development of stamina is another local effect observed in asthmatics. Practice of breathing exercises, pranayama and the systematic breathing during asanas regularises the breathing mechanism, trains the proper use of abdominal and chest muscles and also improves the vital capacity. The local effect observed of breathing exercises in documented by physiotherapists.
Kriyas may have a role in increasing the tolerance of the mucous membrane to the various irritants. Neti kriya exposes the nasal mucous to learn how not to react hypersensitivity to small irritations by dust, smoke, temperature variations, etc. (R 12c).
The mechanical effect of drainage of secretion obtained by gravity in various forward, backward and inverted postures may have a role in reducing the airway obstruction and obstruction to the sinuses.