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Treating the climacteric symptoms in Indian women with an integrated approach to yoga therapy: a randomized control study

Chattha, Ritu MSc1; Raghuram, Nagarathna MD, FRCP2; Venkatram, Padmalatha FRCOG, MRCPI3; Hongasandra, Nagendra R. ME, PhD4

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318167b902
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Objective: To study the effect of yoga on the climacteric symptoms, perceived stress, and personality in perimenopausal women.

Design: One hundred twenty participants (ages 40-55 y) were randomly divided into two study arms, ie, yoga and control. The yoga group practiced an integrated approach to yoga therapy comprising surya namaskara (sun salutation) with 12 postures, pranayama (breathing practices), and avartan dhyan (cyclic meditation), whereas the control group practiced a set of simple physical exercises under supervision of trained teachers for 8 weeks (1 h daily, 5 days per week). The assessments were made by Greene Climacteric Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, and Eysenck's Personality Inventory before and after the intervention.

Results: Of the three factors of the Greene Climacteric Scale, the Mann-Whitney test showed a significant difference between groups (P < 0.05) in the vasomotor symptoms, a marginally significant difference (P = 0.06) in psychological factors but not in the somatic component. Effect sizes were higher in the yoga group for all factors. There was a significantly greater degree of decrease in Perceived Stress Scale scores (P < 0.001, independent samples t test) in the yoga group compared with controls (between-group analysis) with a higher effect size in the yoga group (1.10) than the control (0.27). On the Eysenck's Personality Inventory, the decrease in neuroticism was greater (P < 0.05) in the yoga group (effect size = 0.43) than the control group (effect size = 0.21) with no change in extroversion in either the yoga or control group.

Conclusions: Eight weeks of an integrated approach to yoga therapy decreases climacteric symptoms, perceived stress, and neuroticism in perimenopausal women better than physical exercise.

The effects of yoga on climacteric symptoms, perceived stress, and personality in perimenopausal women were studied. Eight weeks of an integrated approach to yoga therapy decreased climacteric symptoms, perceived stress, and neuroticism in perimenopausal women better than physical exercise.

From the1Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India; 2Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India; 3Maiya Multispecialty Hospital, Bangalore, India; and 4Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India.

Received August 2, 2007; revised and accepted January 8, 2008.

Financial disclosure: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Ritu Chattha, MSc, Division of Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, #19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, Kempegowda Nagar, Bangalore, 560019, India. E-mail: chattha.ritu@yahoo.com; rn44@rediffmail.com

©2008The North American Menopause Society