Effect of Bhramari pranayama (humming bee breath) on heart rate variability and hemodynamic– a pilot study

      Background: Pranayama, part of yoga is proved to be effective stress management for life style disorders. Aim: To study the effect of Bhramari pranayama on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and to its effect on blood pressure (BP) & heart rate(HR). Methods: Healthy volunteers (n = 20; male 10, female 10; age 18–35 years) were recruited in this study after obtaining their informed consent. HRV was recorded by using telemetric BioHarness device. After 15 minute of baseline HRV recording, BP & HR was recorded using Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor. Then subjects were asked to perform Bhramari pranayama, which consists of inhalation through both the nostrils slowly & chant the word “O- Mmma” as they exhale keeping two index finger on two external auditory canal which completes one cycle. The subjects were asked to repeat the same for 5 minutes & stop. HRV was recorded during & after the practise. BP and HR were recorded again after the practise. Results: During the practise of pranayama there was a significant increase in LF/HF ratio (t = -5.1;p = 0.000) when compared to base line recording. But Following pranayama practise there is shift towards parasympathetic activity & decreased LF/HF ratio (t = 5.6,p = 0.000) compared to during practise and baseline LF/HF (t = 4.2,p = 0.000) . There was reduction in Systolic Blood pressure (t = 3.2, p = 0.004); Diastolic blood pressure (t = 5.7, p = 0.000) & HR (t = 1.3, p = 0.185). Conclusion: The practise of Bhramari pranayama facilitates relaxation response in healthy volunteer by increasing parasympathetic activity. It can be one of the promising tool to control stress & related lifestyle disorder.
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