Background: Pranayama has been reported to be beneficial in treating a range of stress related disorders, improving autonomic functions, relieving symptoms of asthma, stuttering and reducing signs of oxidative stress. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether regular practice of Bhramari Pranayama for 3 months can reduce the cardio-vascular hyper-reactivity induced by cold pressor test.
Methods and results: The study group comprised of 54 healthy medical students of 18 to 24 yr age group. Initially there were 21 volunteers hyper-reactive to cold pressor test; which after 3 months of regular practice of Bhramari Pranayama reduced to 04 (≈ 81 % reduction ). Initially mean systolic BP after 1min cold stress was 139 ± 8.83 mmHg which was reduced to 134 ± 5 mmHg (t = 2.94, p< 0.01), while diastolic blood pressure reduced from 91 ± 7.5 mmHg to 88 ± 4.42 mmHg (t = 4.74, p<0.01). Initially the rise in systolic blood pressure due to cold stress (Hand immersed at 3 0 – 4 0 C for one minute) was 19.24 ± 4.17 mmHg that became 15.71 ± 2.85 mmHg (t = 6.4, p<0.01), and initial rise in diastolic blood pressure was 14.67 ± 2.85 mmHg which became 11.62 ± 1.86 mmHg (t = 5.6, p< 0.01) after regular practice of Bhramari Pranayama for 3 months.
Conclusion: We concluded that regular practice of Bhramari Pranayama for 3 months reduced the cardiovascular hyper-reactivity to cold pressor test in subjects who were hyper-reactive to cold stress, possibly by inducing parasympathetic predominance and corticohypothalamo medullary inhibition.