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Yoga therapy for Coronary Artery disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Yoga therapy for Coronary Artery diseaseThe heart is like any other muscle, requiring oxygen and nutrient-rich blood for it to function. The coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle spread across the surface of the heart, beginning at the base of the aorta and branching out to all areas of the heart muscle.

Coronary Artery disease (CAD) is the term commonly used to describe the formation of fatty deposits and fibrous tissue (plaques) inside the arteries that supply blood to the heart (the coronary arteries). This formation of fatty plaques and consequent hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Coronary atherosclerosis may result in narrowing of the coronary arteries which tends to reduce blood supply to portion of the heart muscle supplied by them.

Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, it can go unnoticed until the people have a heart attack. But there's plenty individual can do to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. Start by committing to a healthy lifestyle.


Risk factors

1) High blood cholesterol level
2) High level of LDLcholesterol, commonly called "bad cholesterol"
3) Low level of HDL cholesterol, commonly called "good cholesterol"
4) Age and Sex: The disease is usually seen in middle and old age individuals. Earlier in life, men have a greater risk of coronary artery disease than women. But the risk for woman eventually equals or excels that of man after she attains menopause.
5) Family history of coronary artery disease at a younger age
6) Cigarette smoking
7) High blood pressure (hypertension)
8) Diabetes mellitus
9) Obesity
10) Physical inactivity (too little regular exercise)
11) Mental stress
12) Dietary factors: A diet deficient in fresh fruits, vegetables and polyunsaturated fatty acids increases the risk of coronary artery disease.


The damage to the arteries may be caused by various factors, including:
1) Smoking
2) High blood pressure
3) High cholesterol
4) Diabetes or insulin resistance
5) Radiation therapy to the chest, as used for certain types of cancer
6) Sedentary lifestyle

Yoga therapy for Coronary Artery disease


If the coronary arteries gets narrow, they can't supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart — especially when it's beating hard, such as during exercise. When the plaques continue to build up in the coronary arteries, however, they may develop coronary artery disease signs and symptoms, including:

1) Chest pain (angina)
2) Shortness of breath or palpitations
3) Heart attack.
4) Sweating
5) Nausea and vomiting
6) Dizziness or light-headedness

The adage 'PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE' applies to most of the diseases. As it is not possible to cure the heart diseases completely, prevention is the only course left.



Dietary Habits are learnt in early childhood and are difficult to change afterwards.

1) Give seasonal fruits, raw vegetables, sprouted grains and sprouted pulses a place in your routine diet.
2) Avoid overeating. Eat food in a moderate quantity.
3) It is advisable to restrict saturated fats and the use of unsaturated fats in moderation.
4) Prefer natural foods. This can be achieved by a judicious combination of cereals, pulses, vegetables, toned milk and vegetable oils.
5) Maintain low-salt diet.
6) Avoid taking refined sugar in any form, processed foods, carbonated sweetened soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.
The more variety of food one enjoy, the better it is, but take care to retain all the important nutrients


Coronary heart disease being one of the major killers of mankind even today, the role of life style modification to take care of all the risk factors to prevent CHD cannot be overlooked. Greenwood et al (1996) reviewed the literature and showed that both social support and life stresses influence the incidence and mortality of coronary heart disease, the latter more so than the former. The emotion support had the largest effect. Orth Gomer et al (1997) analysed the heart rate variability from a bolter record during transient myocardial ischeamia and observed suppression of the efferent vagal activity and suggested that this vagal blockage may be a forerunner to onset of ischaemia. Winneberg (1997) found positive correlation between collagen induced platelet aggregation and outwardly expressed anger as measured by anger expression scale. The work of Ornish et al has become a major land mark on this path of preventive cardiology.

Gould, Ornish and coworkers (1995) studied the changes in myocardial perfusion by positron emission tomography (PET) after 5 years of intense risk factor modification. The experimental group of 20 followed a programme of very low fat vegetarian diet, mild to moderate exercise, stress management and group support. The abnormalities on rest-dipyridamol PET abnormalities of ventricular perfusion showed significant change in the experimental group (-5.1 ± 4.8% normalised counts) while the control group who continued under family physicians care with antianginal therapy had worsening of size, severity of PET abnormalities (10.3 * 5.6%). Although there was a significant degree of improvement observed in the percent diameter stenosis on coronary angiography in the experimental group as compared to control group, greater degree of changes were observed in ventricular perfusion and the measurement of area of LV with less than 60% activity in PET.


Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease:

Proper diet, low salt intake, regular exercise, reduction in alcohol intake and weight reduction are of paramount importance.
1) Maintain proper eating & living habits
2) Doing physical exercise regularly
3) To slacken the pace of work
4) To make necessary changes in the psychological attitude.
5) To control blood pressure
6) To control diabetes
7) To reduce weight, if it is above the normal limits.
8) To reduce the level of cholesterol in blood.
9) To perform exercise regularly.
10) Stop smoking.
11) Reduce high blood LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol").
12) Reduce mental stress.
13) Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains

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