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J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Feb;21(2):91-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0285.

Unilateral forced nostril breathing and aphasia--exploring unilateral forced nostril breathing as an adjunct to aphasia treatment: a case series.

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1 Communication Sciences and Special Education, University of Georgia , Athens, GA.



Unilateral forced nostril breathing (UFNB), a yogic pranayama technique, improves verbal and spatial cognition in healthy adults. The use of UFNB as an adjunct in aphasia recovery has not been explored. The current study investigated the use and potential benefit of combining UFNB with conventional speech-language therapy.


A multiple baseline single-subject AB design was conducted across three participants with stroke and aphasia. All participants practiced 40 minutes of UFNB daily at home, after instruction, and received conventional aphasia therapy. Speech and language skills were assessed before and after intervention, with individualized assessments throughout the period. Assessments included the Western Aphasia Battery-R (WAB-R) and the Communication Abilities of Daily Living-2 (CADL-2), as well as the Apraxia Battery for Adults if a diagnosis of apraxia was present. The Color Trails Test was performed and language samples collected for Correct Information Unit (CIU) and word productivity analyses.


For the pre- and postassessments, visual inspection revealed an increase in CADL-2 scores for participants A2 and A3. In addition, A1 and A3 had a slight trend of increasing WAB-R aphasia quotients. Some change was observed for total number of CIUs and word productivity in two of the three participants. Attention did not markedly improve from baseline to treatment phase.


This study suggests that UFNB combined with speech-language therapy may benefit overall language production and functional communication. Further investigation on use of UFNB treatment alongside traditional speech-language therapy is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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