The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Benefits of yoga for lowering blood pressure in cardiac-rehab pateints

    Just don’t call it yoga!

    Klinik Roderbirken der Deutschen Rentenversicherung, in Germany reported their findings during the EuroPREVENT 2010 meeting.

    First, the details.

    • 340 male cardiac-rehabilitation patients with high blood pressure following their initial heart attack or percutaneous coronary intervention (coronary angioplasty) were randomly assigned to a “relaxation” group for 5 sessions per week lasting 30- to 60-minutes for 3 weeks.
      • Relaxation #1: Standard intensive cardiac-rehab program that included PMR (progressive muscle relaxation; a technique based on alternate tensing and relaxing of muscles)
      • Relaxation #2: Viniyoga (most of the patients didn’t realize they were doing yoga)
    • Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help heart patients recover quickly and improve overall physical and mental functioning.
    • After 3 weeks, men were encouraged to continue their programs at home and told that a questionnaire would be sent to them after 6 months.

    And, the results.

    • At 3 weeks, systolic blood-pressure in men in the Relaxation #2 (yoga group) declined by 8 mmHg vs 6 mmHg in the Relaxation #1 group.
    • Among men with the highest systolic blood pressures (greater than 140 mmHg), declines in the yoga group were significantly more pronounced: 21 mmHg vs 13 mmHg in the Relaxation #1 group.
    • Most of the patients were on multidrug antihypertensive regimens.
    • By 6 months, 50% of Relaxation #1 patients continued therapy at least once per week vs 30% of the Relaxation #2 (yoga group).

    The bottom line?

    The author’s concluded, it’s too soon to make yoga an integral part of cardiac-rehab. However, ongoing studies in patients with higher blood pressure might change this.

    They were impressed that 30% of the patients (mostly “low educated” males) continued with yoga for 6 months.

    5/13/10 17:08 JR

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