Generic placeholder image

Current Pediatric Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3963
ISSN (Online): 1875-6336

Systematic Review Article

Role of Breathing Exercises and Yoga/Pranayama in Childhood Asthma: A Systematic Review

Author(s): Rashmi Ranjan Das, Jhuma Sankar* and Sushil Kumar Kabra

Volume 15, Issue 3, 2019

Page: [175 - 183] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1573396315666190121122452


Background: Various complementary or alternative medicines (including breathing exercises and yoga/pranayama) have been tried as an attractive option to pharmacotherapy in childhood asthma.

Objective: To evaluate the role of breathing exercise and yoga/pranayama as add on therapy to the “pharmacologically recommended treatment” of childhood asthma.

Methods: We searched the published literature in the major databases: Medline via Ovid, PubMed, CENTRAL, Embase, and Google Scholar till June 2018. Randomized trials comparing breathing exercises and yoga/ pranayama versus control or as part of a composite intervention versus control were included. The primary outcome measures were quality of life and change in asthma symptoms. Secondary outcomes were: decrease in medication use, number of exacerbations, change in lung function and immunological parameters, school absenteeism and adverse events.

Results: A total of 10 trials (466 children, 6-14 years age) were included. The severity of asthma varied among the trials. The data for primary outcome measures could not be pooled, there were mixed results for both primary and secondary outcomes. No significant benefit was obtained in acute asthma and the lung function tests [except PEFR % at 4-6 weeks, PEF absolute at 3 months, and FVC absolute at 3 months] in chronic asthma. One trial compared breathing exercise versus yoga and found no difference. Adverse events were not significant.

Conclusions: Breathing exercise and yoga/ pranayama may have some additive role in the treatment of childhood asthma. However, at present, it cannot be recommended as a standard of care due to insufficient data.

Keywords: Asthma, pediatric, breathing technique, yoga, inspiratory muscle training, evidence-based medicine.

Graphical Abstract
Brightling CE, Gupta S, Gonem S, Siddiqui S. Lung damage and airway remodelling in severe asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 2012; 42(5): 638-49.
[] [PMID: 22192725]
Holgate ST, Arshad HS, Roberts GC, Howarth PH, Thurner P, Davies DE. A new look at the pathogenesis of asthma. Clin Sci (Lond) 2009; 118(7): 439-50.
[] [PMID: 20025610]
Bateman ED, Hurd SS, Barnes PJ, et al. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention: GINA executive summary. Eur Respir J 2008; 31(1): 143-78.
[] [PMID: 18166595]
Chinnakkannan SK, Singh M, Das RR, Mathew JL, Saxena AK. Study of the association of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis with childhood asthma in indian population. Indian Pediatr 2017; 54(1): 21-4.
[] [PMID: 27889716]
Singh M, Das RR, Kumar L, Kumar R. Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination is associated with lower prevalence of allergic diseases in Indian children. Am J Rhinol Allergy 2013; 27(4): e107-12.
[] [PMID: 23883802]
Global strategy for asthma management and prevention 2015.
Welsh EJ, Hasan M, Li P. Home-based educational interventions for children with asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011; (10): CD008469
[] [PMID: 21975783]
Macêdo TMF, Freitas DA, Chaves GSS, Holloway EA, Mendonça KMPP. Breathing exercises for children with asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016; 4(4)CD011017
[PMID: 27070225]
Asher MI, Douglas C, Airy M, Andrews D, Trenholme A. Effects of chest physical therapy on lung function in children recovering from acute severe asthma. Pediatr Pulmonol 1990; 9(3): 146-51.
[] [PMID: 2277735]
Bowler SD, Green A, Mitchell CA. Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial. Med J Aust 1998; 169(11-12): 575-8.
[] [PMID: 9887897]
Bingöl Karakoç G, Yilmaz M, Sur S, Ufuk Altintas D, Sarpel T, Güneter Kendirli S. The effects of daily pulmonary rehabilitation program at home on childhood asthma. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2000; 28(1): 12-4.
[PMID: 10757852]
Lima EVNCL, Lima WL, Nobre A, dos Santos AM, Brito LMO, Costa Mdo R. Inspiratory muscle training and respiratory exercises in children with asthma. J Bras Pneumol 2008; 34(8): 552-8. [Treinamento muscular inspiratório e exercícios respiratórios em crianças asmáticas
[] [PMID: 18797738]
Sakshi Multani NK. Comparison of Breathing Exercises and Aerobic Exercise in Asthmatic Children. JESP 2010; 6(2): 112-9.
El-Helaly N, Aboel-magd MF. Ventilatory functions response to breathing training versus aerobic training in asthmatic children. Egypt J Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012; 10(1): 33-7.
Elnaggara RK, Shendy MA. Efficacy of noninvasive respiratory techniques in the treatment of children with bronchial asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Bull Fac Phys Ther 2016; 21(1): 1-10.
Jasrotia RB, Kanchan A. Effect of yoga on pulmonary functions in asthmatic children. IJLSER 2013; 1(3): 110-4.
Gupta M, Jit S, Kaur P. Effectiveness of selected Yoga postures and procedures for improvement in pulmonary functions in 8-14 year old children of Nasobronchial allergy. Int J Med Res Rev 2017; 5(2): 149-55.
Azab ASR, Moawd SA, Abdul-Rahman RS. Effect of Buteyko Breathing Exercises versus Yoga Training on Pulmonary Functions and Functional Capacity in Children with Bronchial Asthma: a randomized controlled trial. IJTRR 2017; 6(1): 148-53.
Sankar J, Das RR. Asthma - A Disease of How We Breathe: Role of Breathing Exercises and Pranayam. Indian J Pediatr 2018; 85(10): 905-10.
[] [PMID: 29247426]
Bruton A, Lewith GT. The Buteyko breathing technique for asthma: a review. Complement Ther Med 2005; 13(1): 41-6.
[] [PMID: 15907677]
Review Manager (RevMan) 52 2012. [accessed 26 July 2018]
Egger M, Davey Smith G, Schneider M, Minder C. Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ 1997; 315(7109): 629-34.
[] [PMID: 9310563]

© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy