Complementary medicine for the management of chronic stress: superiority of active versus passive techniques
ABSTRACT Recent epidemiological data indicate that chronic stress is an important component of cardiovascular risk, implicitly suggesting that stress management might offer a useful complement to orthodox medical treatment and prevention of hypertension. In this context, information on mechanisms, such as subclinical increases in arterial pressure and sympathetic drive, is well documented. Conversely, evidence on methodologies and comparative efficacy needs to be improved. Accordingly, this study was planned to test the autonomic and subjective effects of two popular modalities of stress management.
We studied 70 patients complaining of stress-related symptoms, avoiding any potential autonomic confounder, such as established hypertension or drug treatment. Patients were divided in three groups: group I (n = 30) followed a breathing-guided relaxation training (active); group II (n = 15) an oriental massage, shiatsu (passive); and group III (n = 25) followed a sham intervention. Subjective effects of stress were assessed by validated questionnaires and autonomic nervous system regulation by spectral analysis of RR interval variability. Factor analysis was used to extract information simultaneously embedded in subjective and functional data.
Although the problem of a greater quantity of treatment procedure in the active group than in the passive group existed, results showed that active relaxation, further to slightly reducing arterial pressure, might be more effective in relieving symptoms of stress and inducing an improved profile of autonomic cardiovascular regulation, as compared with passive massage or sham intervention.
This active technique seems capable of beneficially addressing simultaneously the individual psychological and physiopathological dimensions of stress in clinical settings, with potentially beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk profile.
SourceAvailable from: Jaideep Sriranjini[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objectives. Cardiac autonomic dysfunction in stroke has implications on morbidity and mortality. Ayurveda (Indian system of medicine) describes stroke as pakshaghata. We intended to study the effect of Ayurveda therapies on the cardiac autonomic dysfunction. Methods. Fifty patients of ischemic stroke (middle cerebral artery territory) (mean age 39.26 ± 9.88 years; male 43, female 7) were recruited within one month of ictus. All patients received standard allopathic medications as advised by neurologist. In addition, patients were randomized to receive physiotherapy (Group I) or Ayurveda treatment (Group II) for 14 days. Continuous electrocardiogram and finger arterial pressure were recorded for 15 min before and after treatments and analyzed offline to obtain heart rate and blood pressure variability and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). Results were analysed by RMANOVA. Results. Patients in Group II showed statistically significant improvement in cardiac autonomic parameters. The standard deviation of normal to normal intervals,and total and low frequency powers were significantly enhanced (F = 8.16, P = 0.007, F = 9.73, P = 0.004, F = 13.51, and P = 0.001, resp.). The BRS too increased following the treatment period (F = 10.129, P = 0.004). Conclusions. The current study is the first to report a positive modulation of cardiac autonomic activity after adjuvant Ayurveda treatment in ischemic stroke. Further long term studies are warranted.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 05/2014; 2014:634695. DOI:10.1155/2014/634695 · 2.18 Impact Factor
Article: Therapie des Burnout-Syndroms
Journal of Hypertension 01/2011; 29:e141. DOI:10.1097/00004872-201106001-00347 · 4.22 Impact Factor