Yoga and acupressure could both play an important role in helping patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Two abstracts presented at the at the European Society of Cardiology's EuroHeart Care Congress, which takes place in Glasgow, 22 to 23 March, 2013, show the potential for medical yoga and acupressure, in addition to pharmacological therapies, to reduce blood pressure and heart rates in patients with AF. In a third abstract, a survey found that complementary and alternative therapies (CATs), were widely used by patients attending cardiology clinics, raising concerns people may not be routinely informing health care staff about their use.
"One of the overall aims of treatment for AF is lowering heart rate because high and irregular heart rates can lead to emboli forming and result in stroke," said Professor Ozlem Ceyhan, a nurse trainer from Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey. "In these studies both acupressure and yoga are reducing heart rate, which should have a really beneficial effect. Furthermore, both approaches have the advantage of being easy to administer and cost effective, with no serious side effects."
The ESC guidelines4 have classified AF patients into five types based on duration: first detected (only one diagnosed episode); paroxysmal (recurrent episodes that self-terminate in less than seven days); persistent (recurrent episodes that last more than seven days); long standing (where it has lasted for longer than a year); and permanent (an ongoing long-term episode).
Medical Yoga shows beneficial effect in Paroxysmal AF
In the first abstract Maria Nilsson, a nurse from Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, who has practiced yoga for the last 10 years, set out to investigate whether yoga might help patients with paroxysmal AF (PAF) .
"We chose to use medical yoga, which is a form of yoga involving deep breathing, light movements, meditation and relaxation. The advantage here is that the movements are easy
|Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu|
European Society of Cardiology