Purpose: We present a case study of a woman who used yogic breathing as Ayurvedic medicine in her recovery from poststroke aphasia. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the most ancient medicines of the world, but it is not widely used for aphasia rehabilitation in many Western countries. The description of this case aims to further the understanding of the benefits that this type of medicine may provide to poststroke patients living with aphasia.
Method: After her stroke, the patient received brief conventional language therapy for her aphasia. At 5 weeks post stroke, she received no further conventional rehabilitation; instead, she consulted with a Vedic priest. She followed a regimen of different body manipulations, yogic breathing techniques, and ingestion of coconut oil. Cognitive and language testing was performed throughout a 3-month period while she was involved in this therapy.
Results: Overall, improvement was noted in language, visual attention, and some mood measures.
Conclusion: Although case studies lead to limited conclusions, changes were observed for this individual using Ayurvedic medicine. Given the changes in language and some aspects of cognition seen in this patient, further exploration of the effectiveness of yogic breathing and Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of poststroke aphasia is warranted.
Keywords: Ayurveda; aphasia; attention; language; mood; yoga.