Changes in fatigue, autonomic functions, and blood biomarkers due to sitting isometric yoga in patients with CFS, 2018, Oka et al

Discussion in 'Psychosomatic research - ME/CFS and Long Covid' started by Andy, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK
    Have put this in the Psychosocial forum as it's printed in BioPsychoSocial Medicine, which states it is "The official journal of the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine"
    Open access at
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  2. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I googled "isometric yoga" and found this study from two of the same researchers from 2014.

    Isometric yoga improves the fatigue and pain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who are resistant to conventional therapy: a randomised, controller trial

    This trial enrolled 30 patients with CFS who did not have satisfactory improvement after receiving conventional therapy for at least six months. They were randomly divided into two groups and were treated with either conventional pharmacotherapy (control group, n = 15) or conventional therapy together with isometric yoga practice that consisted of biweekly, 20-minute sessions with a yoga instructor and daily in-home sessions (yoga group, n = 15) for approximately two months.

    Isometric yoga as an add-on therapy is both feasible and successful at relieving the fatigue and pain of a subset of therapy-resistant patients with CFS.
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  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    I don't understand the point of measuring stuff before and after a single session of isometric yoga.

    Firstly there is no healthy control group to compare it with, so the changes found may occur in everybody, not just ME/CFS patients.

    Secondly, they were looking at transient effects immediately after a session. It's quite possible than just sitting quietly resting for the same length of time could have the same effects.

    Why on earth didn't they do all the blood tests at the start of the 8 weeks training too, so they could see whether there was a cumulative effect.

    What a wasted effort.
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  4. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I also think the stage you're at in terms of ME makes a difference.

    In the early years I felt I got some benefit from yoga when I was in a good phase. Really bad idea in a bad patch, I found.

    Now, many more years on, it just completely wipes me out, no matter how careful I am and even if I enjoy it at the time.

    Yet, another enjoyable past time no longer available to me.
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  5. pteropus

    pteropus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This study needed a control group who are sitting upright (and supported) for the same amount of time, regularly. For people with mod/severe ME, this 'sitting' would give their autonomic / cardiovascular system practice at delivering blood to the brain, against gravity.

    Alternatively, they could study supine yoga breathing exercises, which might be more do-able for many pwME.
  6. TiredSam

    TiredSam Committee Member

    When I read the thread title I thought it must be a surreal Monty Python style spoof.

    15 patients? Why doesn't publishing stuff like this ruin people's careers? Are the authors incapable of feeling embarrassment?

    Plenty of yoga schools in my area manage to come up with much better adverts.
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  7. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    Aotearoa New Zealand
    On the day of the final trial yoga session:

    I had better have a shower. Where is my good pair of track suit pants? Oh, scrunched up at the bottom of the washing basket where I left them after the last session. What on earth am I going to wear? The ones from the washing basket it is. Now to walk to the train. Am I going to make it on-time? I had better walk faster. Gosh, it's crowded. Am I going to get a seat?

    Ok, now to walk to the Institute of Psychosomatic Medicine. I hope no one sees me going in. Up the stairs, need to go fast because I'm late.

    So, how do I feel? Well, yep, I'm stressed, tired and dizzy.

    [20 to 30 minutes of a nice sit down, breathing and slowly waving arms about, smiling with the nice instructor.]

    Thank goodness that's over. I can go home now and have a lie down. In fact, thank goodness that whole trial is over. How do I feel? Well pretty good actually, thanks. Yep, a lot better than before that yoga session.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  8. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Ha, I wonder has the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine extended its purview to biological and social casual factors? Or does it just like the sound of "biopsychosocial"?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  9. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Goodness me, are there "therapy-resistant" patients?

    Let's see, results from PACE data based on their own prespecified (subjective) definition of recovery found that less than 1 out of every 10 patients getting CBT or GET recovered after a year, and when you factor out spontaneous rates of recovery, that goes down to less than 1 in 20.

    So, er, gosh, there seem to be a heck of a lot of "therapy-resistant" patients!

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