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Int J Yoga. 2011 Jan;4(1):26-32. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.78178.

Effect of integrated yoga practices on immune responses in examination stress - A preliminary study.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stress is often associated with an increased occurrence of autonomic, cardiovascular, and immune system pathology. This study was done to evaluate the impact of stress on psychological, physiological parameters, and immune system during medical term -academic examination and the effect of yoga practices on the same.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study was carried out on sixty first-year MBBS students randomly assigned to yoga group and control group (30 each). The yoga group underwent integrated yoga practices for 35 minutes daily in the presence of trained yoga teacher for 12 weeks. Control group did not undergo any kind of yoga practice or stress management. Physiological parameters like heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure were measured. Global Assessment of Recent Stress Scale and Spielbergers State Anxiety score were assessed at baseline and during the examination. Serum cortisol levels, IL-4, and IFN-γ levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique.

RESULT:

In the yoga group, no significant difference was observed in physiological parameters during the examination stress, whereas in the control group, a significant increase was observed. Likewise, the indicators of psychological stress showed highly significant difference in control group compared with significant difference in yoga group. During the examination, the increase in serum cortical and decrease in serum IFN-γ in yoga group was less significant (P<0.01) than in the control group (P<0.001). Both the groups demonstrated an increase in serum IL-4 levels, the changes being insignificant for the duration of the study.

CONCLUSION:

Yoga resists the autonomic changes and impairment of cellular immunity seen in examination stress.

KEYWORDS:

Cell-mediated immune responses; IFN-γ; IL-4; state anxiety score; stress; yoga

PMID:
21654972
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3099098
Free PMC Article
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