International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-40
Can yoga practices benefit health by improving organism regulation? Evidence from electrodermal measures of acupuncture meridians


1 Divisions of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Divisions of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Chancellor's Office, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhawna Sharma
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana Yoga University, 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, KG Nagar, Bangalore 560 019, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.123477

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Objectives: To document and explain Yoga's effects on acupuncture meridian energies. To understand mechanisms behind Yoga's efficacy by testing links between yoga and traditional Chinese medicine. Materials and Methods: The study compared two groups of yoga practitioners: Novice and experienced. Novices consisted of 33 volunteers from a Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) yoga instructor training module and the experienced practitioners were 20 resident SVYASA students. The intervention was 3 weeks of a yoga training program, new for the novices, but the lifestyle of the experienced group, who were therefore assessed only once. Novices were assessed on day 2 and 23 of their program at SVYASA's Yoga Medicine Hospital, making their data a pre-post, self-as-control, prospective study. Main outcome measures were mean acumeridian energy levels assessed by AcuGraph3 measures of electrodermal resistance at acupoints; additionally, gender differences, standard deviations (SDs) of all measures, and comparison of post and experienced group data. Results: Averaged energy levels significantly improved in all 24 meridians (maximum P = 0.032, 4-P < 0.01, and 19-P < 0.001). Females improved more than males (P < 0.05), both ending at similar levels to experienced practitioners, whose SDs were lower than novices on 19/24 meridians (mean F = 3.715, P = 0.0022), and 4/5 average variables. Conclusions: AcuGraph3 electrodermal measures contain substantial information, P << 0.00001. Yoga-lifestyle practice can increase and balance acumeridian energies; long-term practice decreases group SD's. These three suggest reasons why yoga practice impacts health: One, increased prana levels are important; two and three, improved physiological regulation is the key. Further studies relating traditional Indian and Chinese medical systems are needed.


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