Humming (Simple Bhramari Pranayama) as a Stress Buster: A Holter-Based Study to Analyze Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Parameters During Bhramari, Physical Activity, Emotional Stress, and Sleep

Author: Gunjan Trivedi1, Kamal Sharma2, Banshi Saboo3, Soundappan Kathirvel4, Ashwati Konat5, Vatsal Zapadia6, Poojan J Prajapati6, Urva Benani7, Kahan Patel6, Suchi Shah8
1 Society for Energy & Emotions, Wellness Space, Ahmedabad, IND.
2 Cardiology, Dr. Kamal Sharma Cardiology Clinic, Ahmedabad, IND.
3 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes Care & Hormone Clinic, Ahmedabad, IND.
4 Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, IND.
5 Department of Zoology, Biomedical Technology and Human Genetics, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, IND.
6 Internal Medicine, B J Medical College, Ahmedabad, IND.
7 Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Internal Medicine, Ahmedabad, IND.
8 Internal Medicine, AMC MET Medical College, Ahmedabad, IND.
Conference/Journal: Cureus
Date published: 2023 Apr 13
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: e37527 , Special Notes: doi: 10.7759/cureus.37527. , Word Count: 233

Objective In this study, our goal was to understand the comparative impact of humming, physical activity, emotional stress, and sleep on several heart rate variability (HRV) parameters, including the stress index (SI), and to assess the effectiveness of humming (simple Bhramari) as a stress buster based on the HRV parameters. Methods This pilot study assessed the long-term HRV parameters of 23 participants in terms of four activities: humming (simple Bhramari), physical activity, emotional stress, and sleep. The single-channel Holter device measured the readings, and data was analyzed using Kubios HRV Premium software for time and frequency-domain HRV parameters, including the stress index. Regarding statistical analysis, single-factor ANOVA followed by paired t-test was used to compare the results of HRV parameters "during" the four activities to understand if humming generates the outcome to enhance the autonomic nervous system. Results Our findings revealed that humming generates the lowest stress index compared to all three other activities (physical activity, emotional stress, and sleep). Several additional HRV parameters also supported the positive impact on the autonomic nervous, equivalent to stress reduction. Conclusions Humming (simple Bhramari) can be an effective stress-buster based on the assessment of several HRV parameters during its practice and in comparison with other activities. A regular daily humming routine can help enhance the parasympathetic nervous system and slow down sympathetic activation.

Keywords: bhramari pranayama; heart rate variability; humming; lifestyle; stress.

PMID: 37193427 PMCID: PMC10182780 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.37527