Meditation helps with Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs in which the airways (bronchi) are reversibly narrowed.

When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Sometimes sticky mucus or phlegm builds up which can further narrow the airways.

The symptoms of asthma include:

  1. Coughing
  2. Wheezing
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Tightness in the chest
Benefits of meditation in Asthma

Given the effects of meditation on reducing sympathetic activity and respiratory rates, several studies have investigated whether meditation would have an effect on respiratory diseases.

A study conducted at the Natural Therapies Unit of the Royal Hospital for women, in Sydney, Australia, showed a significant beneficial effect of Sahaja Yoga on Asthma patients who were resistent to steroids (Manocha et al., 2000).

47 patients with severe asthma were randomly allocated to two groups: one group received Sahaja Yoga Meditation treatment (21 patients), the other group received general relaxation treatment (26 patients), both conducted over 4 months and involving a 2 hour session.

The Sahaja Yoga Meditation group showed a significant reduction in the severity of asthma as measured in airway-hyper-responsivity in response to chemical challenge (an objective indicator of the severity of asthma) compared to the control group who received relaxation.
Chugh D. (1997): The effects of Sahaja Yoga in bronchial asthma and essential hypertension. New Delhi Medicos 13(5):46-47.

Manocha R, Marks GB, Kennhington P, Peters D, Salome CM. (2002): Sahaia yoga in the management of moderate to severe asthma: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax 57(2):110-115.