Via CNN: A new study shows that yoga can help fibromyalgia patients relieve symptoms like pain, fatigue and stiffness by 30 percent, while cutting down dependency on prescription drugs, which just on their own have a long list of disturbing side effects. Side effects of yoga? Improved quality of life!
The study, conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland, involved 53 women who had been living with fibromyalgia for a year or more. The patients were instructed to continue their regular regimen OR participate in a weekly 2-hour low impact yoga session. The yoga group was also provided instructional DVDs and encouraged to practice at home every day.
“Exercise is often recommended, but many fibromyalgia patients find that exercise is too painful to continue or that the classes aren’t tailored for them,” says James Carson, Ph.D., lead researcher and psychologist.
As for the yoga, Dr. Carson and his colleagues developed a class called “Yoga of Awareness.” in which patients spent 40 minutes moving through typical hatha yoga poses like warrior 1 and child’s pose, and another 80 minutes on meditation, breathing exercises, and group discussions about coping with pain. And with great results!
While this was a relatively small study, and needs to be expanded (maybe to include some guys next time) it still opens doors for further research on just how yoga can benefit those living with disease, so that maybe soon the skeptics will say ‘Why not?’ instead of ‘No way.’ It’s a start!
And because scientists are scientists and doctors are doctors they want to know the why and how. And don’t we just love them for it.
“We believe that it probably changes [central nervous system] responses to pain signals,” says Carson, who is planning a larger study on exactly how yoga works.
Further reading: Yoga for Fibromyalgia by Shoosh Lettick Crotzer
article: Managing Fibromyalgia by Timothy McCall, M.D.