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Table of Contents
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 40-41

Holistic lifetyle management - in treatment of hypertension

Nutritionist and Dietitian, Freedom Lifestyle and Wellness Management, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication6-Dec-2018

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-1540.246998

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How to cite this article:
Husein N. Holistic lifetyle management - in treatment of hypertension. J Renal Nutr Metab 2018;4:40-1

How to cite this URL:
Husein N. Holistic lifetyle management - in treatment of hypertension. J Renal Nutr Metab [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Oct 3];4:40-1. Available from: http://www.jrnm.in/text.asp?2018/4/2/40/246998

  Yoga and Self-Regulation Top

Yoga is a system of self-knowledge and a path of physical, mental and spiritual development, whose purpose is to facilitate the recovery of the psychophysiological balance, by eliminating the cause of the imbalance, origin of disease and suffering. Moreover, yoga facilitates the access to the natural and positive state of mind, a state of mental calm that can remain independent of everyday situations and circumstances, with the aim of achieving a general state of well-being.

  Regular Sustained Yoga Practice – A Holistic Lifestyle Management Plan Top

Main yoga practices include physical exercises (asanas), meditation, breathing exercises and relaxation practices, and they are designed to achieve and maintain a state of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Research on the neural substrates of emotional processing and its behavioural correlates has shown that there is a relationship between the activity patterns of the Central Nervous System (CNS), associated with emotional styles, and the peripheral biological processes (endocrine, autonomic and immune function), involved in physical health and well-being. Thus, certain areas of the CNS are involved in autonomic regulation, such as the Central Autonomic Network (CAN), which receives and integrates visceral, humoral and environmental information and coordinates autonomic, endocrine and behavioural responses to external challenges.

Furthermore, the cingulate anterior cortex and the insular cortex, which have also been linked to interoceptive consciousness and its relationship with emotions, are included in CAN. Results of these connections are manifested, both, in healthy physiological states as well as in many diseases. Thus, in the case of cardiovascular disorders, stress conditions have important effects on nervous control of cardiovascular function. This control is carried out through cardiac information that reaches the brain by the sympathetic afferent pathways, and the brain efferent control, through the vagus nerve.

  Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Top

Thereby, various psychological disorders, especially, anxiety and depression disorders can be associated with cardiovascular dysfunctions and alterations in the immune and endocrine systems, closely related to the nervous system. But these brain circuits, which underlie differences in emotional responses and emotional regulation, are highly plastic and can be modified in response to different interventions, i.e. they are transformable through experience. So, this plasticity can be the source of a potential positive change and, through yoga practices, meditation and mindfulness, it could be possible to cultivate healthy mind habits, which could promote positive cognitive and behavioural changes, aimed at increasing well-being and resilience. In this sense, an improvement of synaptic plasticity has been suggested through compassion-based meditation practice, so that neural circuits that underlie social behaviour, emotional self regulation, and well-being can be favoured by training in these practices.

  Yoga and Mental Health Top

Current expansion of the interactive affective regulation and communication principles, neurobiologically supported, explains and justifies a yoga practice approach as the establishment of a secure attachment relationship with oneself. Thereby, early attachment experiences are determinants for the structural development of right-sided neurobiological systems, involved in emotion processing, tension modulation, and emotional selfregulation. Both, structural and functional, psychic changes can be produced by these attachment experiences, not only in these early stages, but in all later stages of development, in terms of social connections, conscious and unconscious communications, and interpersonal relationships. Therefore, through yoga practice and the development of consciousness of oneself and of its relationship with the environment, yoga practitioners could establish a new affective relation to themselves and interconnection with the environment. That is, firstly, because yoga practice promotes an attitude of self-care and responsibility for one's own health and well-being. And secondly, because through observing actions, emotions and thoughts, a more objective knowledge of their own reality and a deeper insight into human nature and its interdependence with the environment are generated. As a result, through observation, experimentation, attention and meditation, yoga practitioners can obtain feedback information about their own feelings, emotions and cognitive processes, establishing a communication, a dialogue with oneself, which allows the possibility of regulating their own psychobiological processes.

  Positive Attitude Management Top

Attitudes such as dis-identification, non-reaction and non-judgment are developed by yoga, from the awareness of non-permanence of feelings, emotions and thoughts, and attitudes such as humility and acceptation are also favoured from the understanding of interdependence with the environment. These attitudes are manifested in an inner state of balance and equanimity and in more benevolent and more compassionate behaviour towards others and towards oneself. This affective relationship with oneself could promote structural and functional changes in the neurological circuits involved in cognitive processes and in the processing of emotions, leading to emotional self-regulation.

  A Way Forward Top

The main role of yoga in physiological, emotional and cognitive self-regulation and in perception of happiness and satisfaction. Yoga effects self-regulation on physiological parameters related to hypertension and on associated emotional symptomatology, i.e. anxiety, distress, perceived stress and depression.

Mindfulness enhancement derived from yoga practice could lead to a process of self-regulation in all levels of experience organization, improving emotional symptomatology and happiness perception, as well as a positive effect on cardiovascular parameters.

  More Evidence based Yoga Research-As an Adjunct to Mainstream Pharmacology Treatments Top

In a country like India, it may be interesting to study application feasibility of these techniques in public health context. Research on the role of yoga in physiological, emotional and cognitive self-regulation indicates an improving of body awareness and control of somatic and autonomic processes, as well as emotional self-regulation and acceptance and control of pain, probably due to a process of emotional and cognitive distancing. In addition, yoga practice has also shown positive effects on emotional symptomatology related to arterial hypertension: control of stress, negative affect, anxiety and depression. Improvement of emotional symptomatology and reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure have also been found, and regulation of blood pressure and other cardiovascular parameters, such as heart rate variability, have been explained by the reducing effect of cardiovascular reactivity of these practices.


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  In this article
Yoga and Self-Re...
Regular Sustaine...
Mindfulness Base...
Yoga and Mental ...
Positive Attitud...
A Way Forward
More Evidence ba...

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