Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
Udupa K, Bhavanani AB, Krishnamurthy N, Pal GK.
Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, 605 006.
Shavasan is known to enhance one's ability to combat stressful situations. The present study was planned to determine if shavasan could modulate the physiological response to stress induced by cold pressor test (CPT) and the possible mechanisms involved. Ten normal adults were taught shavasan and practiced the same for a total duration of seven days. RR interval variation (RRIV), deep breathing difference (DBD), and heart rate, blood pressure & rate-pressure-product (RPP) response to CPT were measured before and immediately after shavasan. Shavasan produced a significant increase in DBD and an appreciable but statistically insignificant increase in RRIV suggesting an enhanced parasympathetic activity. Significant blunting of cold pressor-induced increase in heart rate, blood pressure and RPP by shavasan was seen during and even five minutes after CPT suggesting that shavasan reduces the load on the heart by blunting the sympathetic response. It is concluded that shavasan can enhance one's ability to withstand stress induced by CPT and this ability can be achieved even with seven days of shavasan training.