Research: INNES and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 162

Abstract

INNES and COLLEAGUES, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0905, USA. kei6n@virginia.edu  review [40 refs] published research regarding the clinical application of traditional mind-body practices such as yoga, tai chi and qigong for reducing cardiovascular risk factors in older populations, including postmenopausal women.

Background

Cardiovascular disease risk rises sharply with menopause, likely due to the coincident increase in insulin resistance and related atherogenic changes that together comprise the metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of metabolic and hemodynamic abnormalities strongly implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular disease.

Methodology

A growing body of research suggests that traditional mind-body practices such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong may offer safe and cost-effective strategies for reducing insulin resistance syndrome-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease in older populations, including postmenopausal women.

Results

Current evidence suggests that these practices may reduce insulin resistance and related physiological risk factors for cardiovascular disease; improve mood, well-being, and sleep; decrease sympathetic activation; and enhance cardiovagal function.

Conclusion

However, additional rigorous studies are needed to confirm existing findings and to examine long-term effects on cardiovascular health. [References: 40]

References

Innes KE,  Selfe TK and  Taylor AG.   Menopause, the metabolic syndrome, and mind-body therapies. [Review] [40 refs].  Menopause. 15(5): 1005-13. Sep-Oct 2008.

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