For those suffering with fibromyalgia, anything that is going to bring some type of relief is most welcome. Fortunately, there have been a lot more studies taking place in respect to both what causes this affliction and what can be done to try and eradicate it, as well as control the painful symptoms that accompany it.
One particular study focused on whether yoga would offer any relief. This was a study conducted by James Carson, Ph.D. from the OHSU School of Medicine. The study consisted of a group of 53 women all of whom had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
These women were divided into two groups…
This group participated in a yoga program that lasted for 8 weeks. They practiced breathing exercises, simple poses and meditation and took part in group discussions. Prior to the beginning of their yoga participation they were assessed. The women in this group were asked to keep a daily journal to keep a written account of how they were feeling each day. At the completion of the 8 week session assessments were done via questionnaires as well as physical testing.
Group two (controlled group)
This group continued with standard treatment. They were assessed in the same manner as group one at the end of the study.
There were positive results that were realized by those in the yoga group with a reduction in several of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. It was determined that 24% of this group enjoyed a pain reduction, while 30% had less fatigue and 42% had less depression. Other symptoms were reduced as well. Part of the success was attributed to the enthusiasm shown by the participants with good class attendance and practicing the yoga in their home environment.
What is Yoga?
The basics of yoga is to train one’s self to reach a state of tranquility through relaxation and meditation. It originated in India and has been in practice for many years. The objective of yoga is to put the mind and body in balance with each other through exercise, breathing and meditation techniques. It is believed that each of these areas support one another, leading those who practice it to a clear mind and stronger healthier physical state.
There are many different types of yoga, and if you are new to this the best way to begin if you are thinking of using it to help you handle your fibromyalgia is to first discuss this with your health care provider. Once it is approved for you to try then the next thing is to find a qualified instructor. It is important that you inform your Yoga teacher of your condition so they can plan the appropriate yoga segments for you. You can do this though tapes and CD’s but ideally you should at least begin under the instruction of a qualified instructor to ensure that you are not participating in the wrong type of Yoga which could be too strenuous for you.
It is also important to remember that the results will vary as everyone suffering with fibromyalgia has varying degrees of it and will therefore respond differently. Although there is still much to be done by way of studies with respect to the benefits of yoga and fibromyalgia it may be worth a try even if it only brings some minimal improvement or pain relief.