Accession Number:

ADA629585

Title:

Yoga Therapy as a Complement to Astronaut Health and Emotional Fitness Stress Reduction and Countermeasure Effectiveness Before, During, and in Post-Flight Rehabilitation: a Hypothesis

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAM HOUSTON TX

Report Date:

2012-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

13.0

Abstract:

Long duration spaceflight and exploration missions require increasing the effectiveness of countermeasures to the abnormal physiology that manifests itself in healthy astronauts living in space. The basic hypothesis proposed posits that yoga practices breathing maneuvers, relaxation, meditation, and specific muscular movement may serve this purpose by addressing as a whole, both the effects of microgravity and those of non-gravitational stressful conditions, before, during, and in post-flight rehabilitation. By providing self-directed stress relief tools the reduction in stress-related cortisol and catecholamine spikes observed throughout the space program may be expected to ameliorate microgravity-induced changes such as immuno-deficiency and regional loss in bone architecture, as well as accelerate readaptation of balance and coordination, bone, muscle, and cardiovascular systems to Earths gravity on return. Several hypotheses are presented based on the review of evidence from the scientific literature that defines physiological responses and relationships associated specifically with the practice of yoga as relevant to mission-related stress relief as well as post-flight orthostatic intolerance secondary to the central hypovolemia caused by microgravity. This hypothesis has far-reaching implications for the integration of yoga-based practices in complementing the effectiveness of current countermeasure approaches and provides direction for future research that might bridge the knowledge gap in the use of Yoga practices in the practice of space medicine.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology
  • Astronautics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE