Study: Yoga helps with common heart rhythm problem

January 30, 2013 4:49:22 PM PST
Yoga could be a big help in calming a common heart rhythm problem - atrial fibrillation, known as a-fib..

In a small study, 49 atrial fibrillation patients were monitored for 3 months to track their episodes of a-fib.

For the next 3 months, they took part in 60-minute yoga sessions twice a week.

After the 3 months of yoga, the patients has significantly fewer episodes of a-fib - both with or without symptoms.

And their blood pressure and heart rates were lower, too.

The patients also felt less depressed and anxious.

Study leaders think yoga might be a good addition to medication for a-fib patients.

Atrial fibrillation can be hard to control. the upper and lower chambers of the heart don't beat in a synchronized way.

Most patients are given blood thinners like coumadin, to reduce the chance dangerous clots will form in the heart during those episodes of helter-skelter rhythms. Finding the right balance for those can be a challenge to patients and their doctors.

Sometimes, doctors use electric current to quiet the heart circuits triggering the arrhythmia. Patients may also get a pacemaker, which will permanently deliver the rhythm for their heart.