Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Four weeks of trauma-informed yoga intervention and autonomic tone in female veteran and non-veteran college students

Shannon Steele, Cassie Williamson-Reisdorph, Laura Dybdal, John Quindry

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2022.173.10

Abstract

Introduction: Female college students (veteran and non-veteran) are exposed to cumulative stressors and trauma that may lead to an imbalanced autonomic nervous system. Yoga has emerged as an efficacious intervention for psychological and physical trauma; however, the therapeutic dose of intervening yoga is unknown. Additionally, the frequency, duration, and type of yoga needed to achieve a therapeutic dose appear to be population specific when applied to trauma victims. The purpose of the study was to examine whether a short-term trauma-informed yoga intervention altered metrics of autonomic tone as assessed by heart rate variability (HRV) in female veteran and non-veteran college students. Methods: Nine female college students (age: 33 years ± 11, veteran, n = 4, non-veteran, n = 5) engaged in trauma-informed yoga once per week for one-hour over a four-week intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA were performed on the HRV variables lnRMSSD, lnHF, lnLF, and LF:HF. Results: Findings indicated no effect of the intervention on HRV as measured by lnRMSSD (p = .116), lnHF (p = .073), lnLF (p = .316), and LF:HF (p = .131). Further, no acute alterations in HRV were observed following a single session of trauma-informed yoga (p > .05). Conclusion: The findings of the study revealed no significant effect of trauma-informed yoga on HRV following a single session or after a four-week yoga intervention.


Keywords

Heart rate variability; Stress; Physiology; Parasympathetic activity; Mindfulness

References

Acharya, U. R., Joseph, K. P., Kannathal, N., Lim, C. M., & Suri, J. S. (2006). Heart rate variability: a review. Medical and biological engineering and computing, 44(12), 1031-1051. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11517-006-0119-0

Association, A. P. (2017). Stress in America: The state of our nation. Stress in AmericaTM Survey.

Berntson, G. G., Thomas Bigger, J., Eckberg, D. L., Grossman, P., Kaufmann, P. G., Malik, M., . . . Stone, P. H. (1997). Heart rate variability: origins, methods, and interpretive caveats. Psychophysiology, 34(6), 623-648. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.1997.tb02140.x

Bidwell, A. J., Yazel, B., Davin, D., Fairchild, T. J., & Kanaley, J. A. (2012). Yoga training improves quality of life in women with asthma. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18(8), 749-755. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2011.0079

Bowman, A., Clayton, R., Murray, A., Reed, J., Subhan, M., & Ford, G. (1997). Effects of aerobic exercise training and yoga on the baroreflex in healthy elderly persons. European journal of clinical investigation, 27(5), 443-449. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2362.1997.1340681.x

Brougham, R. R., Zail, C. M., Mendoza, C. M., & Miller, J. R. (2009). Stress, sex differences, and coping strategies among college students. Current psychology, 28(2), 85-97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-009-9047-0

Cheema, B. S., Houridis, A., Busch, L., Raschke-Cheema, V., Melville, G. W., Marshall, P. W., . . . Bowman, J. (2013). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 13(1), 82. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-13-82

Clark, C. J., Lewis-Dmello, A., Anders, D., Parsons, A., Nguyen-Feng, V., Henn, L., & Emerson, D. (2014). Trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for survivors of domestic violence: A feasibility study. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 20(3), 152-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.04.003

Emerson, D., Sharma, R., Chaudhry, S., & Turner, J. (2009). Trauma-sensitive yoga: Principles, practice, and research. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 19(1), 123-128. https://doi.org/10.17761/ijyt.19.1.h6476p8084l22160

Friis, A. M., & Sollers III, J. J. (2013). Yoga improves autonomic control in males: A preliminary study into the heart of an ancient practice. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 18(3), 176-182. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587212470454

Henderer, A. (2017). Path to Presence: Direction for Assessment and Evaluation of Trauma-informed Yoga. Drexel University.

Horton, C. A. (2016). Best practices for yoga with veterans: Yoga Service Council.

Kamath, M. V., Watanabe, M., & Upton, A. (2012). Heart rate variability (HRV) signal analysis: clinical applications: CRC Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/b12756

Kemeny, M. E. (2003). The psychobiology of stress. Current directions in psychological science, 12(4), 124-129. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.01246

Khattab, K., Khattab, A. A., Ortak, J., Richardt, G., & Bonnemeier, H. (2007). Iyengar yoga increases cardiac parasympathetic nervous modulation among healthy yoga practitioners. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(4), 511-517. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem087

Koenig, C. J., Maguen, S., Monroy, J. D., Mayott, L., & Seal, K. H. (2014). Facilitating culture-centered communication between health care providers and veterans transitioning from military deployment to civilian life. Patient Education and Counseling, 95(3), 414-420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2014.03.016

Kozlowska, K., Walker, P., McLean, L., & Carrive, P. (2015). Fear and the defense cascade: clinical implications and management. Harvard review of psychiatry, 23(4), 263. https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000065

McCorry, L. K. (2007). Physiology of the autonomic nervous system. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 71(4), 78.

Melville, G. W., Chang, D., Colagiuri, B., Marshall, P. W., & Cheema, B. S. (2012). Fifteen minutes of chair-based yoga postures or guided meditation performed in the office can elicit a relaxation response. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/501986

Neuhäuser-Berthold, M., Beine, S., Verwied, S. C., & Lührmann, P. M. (1997). Coffee consumption and total body water homeostasis as measured by fluid balance and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 41(1), 29-36. https://doi.org/10.1159/000177975

Osborne, N. J. (2014). Veteran ally: Practical strategies for closing the military-civilian gap on campus. Innovative Higher Education, 39(3), 247-260. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-013-9274-z

Outcalt, S. D., Kroenke, K., Krebs, E. E., Chumbler, N. R., Wu, J., Yu, Z., & Bair, M. J. (2015). Chronic pain and comorbid mental health conditions: independent associations of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression with pain, disability, and quality of life. Journal of behavioral medicine, 38(3), 535-543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-015-9628-3

Pariat, L., Rynjah, M., Joplin, M., & Kharjana, M. (2014). Stress levels of college students: interrelationship between stressors and coping strategies. IOSR J. Humanit. Soc. Sci, 19, 40-45. https://doi.org/10.9790/0837-19834046

Rizzolo, D., Zipp, G. P., Stiskal, D., & Simpkins, S. (2009). Stress management strategies for students: The immediate effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 6(8). https://doi.org/10.19030/tlc.v6i8.1117

Shinba, T., Kariya, N., Matsui, Y., Ozawa, N., Matsuda, Y., & Yamamoto, K. i. (2008). Decrease in heart rate variability response to task is related to anxiety and depressiveness in normal subjects. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 62(5), 603-609. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2008.01855.x

Staples, J. K., Hamilton, M. F., & Uddo, M. (2013). A yoga program for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Military medicine, 178(8), 854-860. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-12-00536

Telles, S., Singh, N., Joshi, M., & Balkrishna, A. (2010). Post traumatic stress symptoms and heart rate variability in Bihar flood survivors following yoga: a randomized controlled study. BMC psychiatry, 10(1), 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-10-18

Tyagi, A., & Cohen, M. (2016). Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature. International journal of yoga, 9(2), 97. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.183712

Vallejo, M., Ruiz, S., Hermosillo, A. G., Borja-Aburto, V. H., & Cárdenas, M. (2006). Ambient fine particles modify heart rate variability in young healthy adults. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 16(2), 125. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.jea.7500447

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2006). Clinical implications of neuroscience research in PTSD. New York. https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1364.022

Vinay, A., Venkatesh, D., & Ambarish, V. (2016). Impact of short-term practice of yoga on heart rate variability. International journal of yoga, 9(1), 62. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.171714

Vinay, A., Venkatesh, D., & Prakash, R. (2015). Need for revised protocol of heart rate variability for sequential evaluation of physiological changes in yoga. International journal of yoga, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.146072




DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2022.173.10





Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.