Table of Contents

2018 Month : July Volume : 7 Issue : 29 Page : 3285-3292

EFFECTS OF SUDARSHAN KRIYA ON STRESS REDUCTION IN GENERAL POPULATION.

Rajeshree Tukaram Patil1, Rajendra Tukaram Patil2, Suresh Narayanrao Ughade3, Manjusha Sureshchandra Hatwar4

1Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, GMC Gondia, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
2Consultant and Ex-Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, IGGMC, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
3Biostatistician (Associate Professor), Department of Community Medicine, GMC, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
4Health Care Management, Dhantoli, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Rajeshree Tukaram Patil,
Chaitanya, 116A, Behind Chhatrapati Hall,
Chhatrapati Nagar, Nagpur-15,
Maharashtra, India.
E-mail: rajeshree_dr@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Stress, depression and anxiety have a yearly prevalence of 10 to 20% in the general population. All factors that cause one’s conditions to diverge too far from the normal homeostasis lead to stress. Our attempts to restore the condition back to homeostasis also leads to stress. Stress affects quality of life by affecting the factors like level of unhappiness, focus, sleep disturbances, anger, frustration etc., because while responding to stress the sympathetic nervous system becomes active. Asthma, headache, IBS, anxiety and ulcers are the commonest presentations in stressful people. Various methods are studied in literature to relieve stress like exercise, walking, pranayam, meditation, gym, music and games. Sudarshan Kriya (SK) claims to have wide and varied effects on human body in different aspects. SK stimulates vagal response and counterbalances the effects of stress.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This is a cohort study with group comparison of subjects regularly practicing SK for more than 6 months. Age matched controls used other Stress Releasing Measure (SRM) like walking, pranayam and gym with ethical standards. Data collection was done by close-ended questionnaire using Likert score for comparison of parameters.

Statistical Analysis- The data were entered into the computer and analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 10.0 programs for Windows. Unpaired student’s t-test, the mean and SD was calculated. The significant value was achieved at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

The selected population faced equal challenges in life. Stress created equal impact in the controls and study subjects. Although, the controls have shown a definite improvement in the quality of life after using stress releasing measures. But, the study shows that controls feel more stressed than SK doers (p was significant at 0.02). The regular SK doers are more focussed with a positive outlook. Categorically (Qualitatively), there was a significant shift towards Likert score of 5 in the SK doers (p= 0.002). SK doers significantly surpassed the control group by scoring highest on Likert scale in almost every parameter studied, e.g. levels of happiness, focus, sleep patterns, anger, frustration, outlook, habits of consuming alcohol, gutka, tobacco and even medical problems. Thus, life appears eased out in regular kriya doers.

CONCLUSION

SK relieves stress in general population in a very significant manner when compared with other stress releasing measures. SK has an extremely positive effect on physical and mental health of the general population. It can definitely be recommended as a highly beneficial, no risk, low cost option to take care of stress and its effects on the human body.

KEY WORDS

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Sudarshan Kriya, Stress Releasing Measures.

How to cite this article

Patil RT, Patil RT, Ughade SN, et al. Effects of sudarshan kriya on stress reduction in general population. J. Evolution Med. Dent. Sci. 2018;7(29):3285-3292, DOI: 10.14260/jemds/2018/740

BACKGROUND

Stress is a response to a stressor. It is rather a method of reacting to a challenge. Stress, depression and anxiety have a yearly prevalence of 10 to 20% in the general population.(1) All factors that cause one’s condition to diverge too far from the normal homeostasis lead to stress. Our attempts to restore the condition back to homeostasis also leads to stress. In such conditions, the flight/ fight response recruits the

energy stores and focuses the attention to overcome the challenges at hand. Stress affects quality of life by affecting the factors like level of unhappiness, focus, sleep disturbances, anger, frustration etc., because while responding to stress the sympathetic nervous system becomes active. Sympathetic nervous system regulates the body’s physiological function to make the body adaptive to environment. Brain plays an important role in perceiving the response to stress. Asthma, headache, IBS, anxiety and ulcers are the commonest presentations in stressful people.(2-9) Stress is widely prevalent in all sections/ strata of society. Various methods are studied in literature to relieve stress. Exercise, walking, pranayam, meditation, gym, music, games and Sudarshan Kriya (SK) has a positive effect on physical and mental health. SK claims to have wide and varied effects on human body in different aspects.(8-20) The vagus nerve is the single most relevant organ in our body relative to our peace of mind and happiness. Research indicates that a healthy vagus nerve is vital in experiencing empathy and fostering social bonding and it is crucial to our ability to observe, perceive and make complex decisions. Tests have revealed that people with impaired vagal activity have also been diagnosed with depression, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and mood swings. The powerful breathing technique that naturally stimulates the vagus nerve is called “The Sudarshan Kriya.” Scientists have found that Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayama (SK along with related practices of yogic asanas, pranayama, nadi shodhan and meditation) can be extremely effective in opening up this vital channel of energy.(21)

 

Hypothesis

Can Sudarshan Kriya be useful in reducing stress and its effects in general population?

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This is a cohort study. The procedure followed is in accordance with ethical standards. Informed consent from the study participants was sought. Age matched controls used other Stress Releasing Measure (SRM) like walking, pranayam, gym with ethical standards, data collection done by close ended questionnaire using Likert’s score for comparison of parameters. They were selected by convenience sampling technique.

Inclusion Criteria

Study subjects were people between 20 and 45 yrs., who were exclusively practicing SK regularly for more than 6 months. Controls were age matched persons from the same population who were using other methods of relaxation and health like walking, pranayam, music and gym.

Selection of Controls

Age matched controls who were routinely and regularly performing other exercises like walking, gym, music, games, meditation and pranayam were selected from the same community/ area for which SK subjects were selected.

 

Exclusion Criteria

Persons doing relaxation techniques from a long time, but now having a gap of more than 7 days so that the effects wane off and those who refused consent to participate in the study.

Data Collection

A close-ended questionnaire using Likert’s score was used and information on the study variables, stress parameters and socio-demographics of individual study subjects was recorded.

Data was summarised by mean, Standard Deviation (SD), frequencies and percentages.

A ‘p’ value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

 

Statistical Analysis

The data were entered into the computer and analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 10.0 programs for Windows. Unpaired student’s t-test, the means and SD was calculated. The significance value was achieved at p < 0.05.

 

RESULTS

When asked “are you happy in life?” SK doers strongly agreed and showed a high Likert’s score than the controls. Study by convenient sampling technique since the duration of the study was 6 months. They were selected by convenience sampling technique. The cause of unhappiness was found to be friends/ relatives in the controls, while for SK doers it was one’s outlook and own-self (p= 0.03 significant). Both groups agreed that life is a challenge.

Both groups faced challenges equally (p= 0.77, non-significant), but stress had more impact in controls than in SK doers (p= 0.02). Thus, life appears eased out in Kriya doers.

When compared for symptoms due to challenges and stress, stress produced similar symptoms in both the groups (as suggested by non-significant p-value for all symptom parameters, e.g. asthma, headache, IBS, anxiety).

When effects of stress releasing methods were compared in two groups, the results were remarkable in SK doers, as is seen in Table 1 below. A significant reduction in mean stress scores was obtained for most of the parameters, except anger and frustration where quantitative estimation did not show any significant difference.

 

 

Stress

Study Group (n=100)

 

Control Group (n=100)

 

Difference in Change

 

P-value

Significance of Difference

Symptoms

Mean Change

SD Change

Mean

Change

SD Change

Mean Difference

SD Difference

   

Levels of Happiness

1.1

1.9

0.32

1.6

0.78

1.79

0.0019

Highly Significant

Focus

1.05

1.79

0.45

1.54

0.6

1.69

0.0118

Significant

Sleep Pattern

1.05

1.99

0.27

1.54

0.78

1.82

0.0022

Highly Significant

Frustration

0.62

1.87

0.57

1.65

0.05

1.76

0.8413

Not Significant

Anger

0.41

2

0.23

1.87

0.18

1.93

0.5117

Not Significant

Change in Outlook

1.32

1.5

0.19

1.97

1, 13

1, 83

0.0001

Highly Significant

Consumption of Alcohol/Tobacco/Cigars

2.99

1.18

1.92

0, 79

1.07

1.14

0.0001

Highly Significant

Medical Problems

4.32

1.67

4

1, 67

0.32

1.67

0.177

Not Significant

Table 1. Change in Mean Scores by symptoms in Two Comparison Groups (Quantitative Estimation)

 

 

However, categorical estimation for all of the study parameters (Table 2 onwards) was found to be significant as follows:

Table 2- Levels of happiness: A significant shift towards Likert’s 5 in SK doers (p= 0.002). Most of the SK doers are frequently happy now.

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

2

1

2 (rarely)

10

3

3 (occasionally)

27

18

4 (frequently)

39

50

5 (very frequently)

25

32

Table 2(A). Levels of Happiness in Controls (G1)

 

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

3

0

2 (rarely)

19

1

3 (occasionally)

36

8

4 (frequently)

25

33

5 (very frequently)

21

62

Table 2(B). Levels of Happiness in Subjects (G2)

 

Table 3- Focus: Focus improved significantly when SK was used to relieve stress (p= 0.03).

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

7

1

2 (rarely)

12

6

3 (occasionally)

19

21

4 (frequently)

52

47

5 (very frequently)

10

27

Table 3(A). Focus in Controls (G1)

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

7

2

2 (rarely)

18

0

3 (occasionally)

37

9

4 (frequently)

25

50

5 (very frequently)

15

44

Table 3(B). Focus in Subjects (G2)

 

 

Table 4- Sleep Pattern: Controls show some improvement after using stress releasing measures. SK doers show a highly significant improvement in sleep pattern with majority having highest score on Likert’s, giving a significant value (p=0.04).

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

1

1

2 (rarely)

8

3

3 (occasionally)

22

19

4 (frequently)

44

36

5 (very frequently)

29

44

Table 4(A). Sleep in Controls (G1)

 

 

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (never)

2

0

2 (rarely)

12

1

3 (occasionally)

23

7

4 (frequently)

37

39

5 (very frequently)

24

58

Table 4(B). Sleep in Subjects (G2)

 

 

Table 5- Frustration: Although frustration was reduced in both, but SK doers give highest Likert’s score (p= 0.00).

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (very frequently)

12

5

2 (frequently)

19

15

3 (occasionally)

44

23

4 (rarely)

21

36

5 (never)

8

20

Table 5(A). Frustration in Controls (G1)

 

 

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (very frequently)

6

2

2 (frequently)

15

7

3 (occasionally)

20

11

4 (rarely)

41

34

5 (never)

23

51

Table 5(B). Frustration in Subjects (G2)

 

 

 

Table 6- Anger: After using relaxing methods anger has reduced in the controls, but in SK doers the scores of reduced anger are highest on Likert’s scale, (p= 0.005).

 

Likert’s Score

Before SRM

After SRM

1 (very frequently)

6

5

2 (frequently)

17

12

3 (occasionally)

35

29

4 (rarely)

32

38

5 (never)

14

19

Table 6(A). Anger in Controls (G1)